Opinions from 2018

United States v. Stitt
Docket Number: 17-765
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: December 10, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants were each convicted of unlawfully possessing a firearm, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1); each was sentenced to the mandatory minimum 15-year prison term required by the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) for section 922(g)(1) ...

Weyerhaeuser Co. v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Docket Number: 17-71
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: November 27, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2001, the Fish and Wildlife Service listed the dusky gopher frog as an endangered species, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 16 U.S.C. 1533(a)(1), which required the Service to designate the frog's “critical ...

Mount Lemmon Fire District v. Guido
Docket Number: 17-587
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: November 6, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs alleged that the Mount Lemmon Arizona Fire District terminated their employment as firefighters in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The District responded that it was too small to qualify ...

Sause v. Bauer
Docket Number: 17-742
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 28, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Sause, pro se, filed suit (42 U.S.C. 1983) against Louisburg, Kansas, police officers, the current mayor, and a former mayor, alleging that officers visited her apartment in response to a noise complaint, gained admittance, ...

Sexton v. Beaudreaux
Docket Number: 17-1106
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 28, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Beaudreaux shot and killed Drummond in 2006. Esho and Crowder were witnesses. The next day, Crowder told the police that he knew the shooter from school, but did not know his name. Esho described the shooter, but did not ...

North Carolina v. Covington
Docket Number: 17-1364
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 28, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: North Carolina redistricted state legislative districts. Plaintiffs alleged that the General Assembly racially gerrymandered their districts in an ostensible effort to comply with the Voting Rights Act; 28 districts comprised ...

Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees
Docket Number: 16-1466
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 27, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: If a union is designated as the exclusive representative of Illinois public sector employees it represents even those who do not join; individual employees may not be represented by another agent or negotiate directly with ...

Florida v. Georgia
Docket Number: 142-orig
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 27, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: The river basin is formed by the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers, which flow south through Georgia and converge at Lake Seminole, just north of Florida, where the Apalachicola River begins and flows south into the Gulf of ...

National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra
Docket Number: 16-1140
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 26, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: The California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act (FACT Act) regulates pro-life centers that offer pregnancy-related services. Licensed clinics must notify women that California ...

Trump v. Hawaii
Docket Number: 17-965
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 26, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: President Trump lawfully exercised the broad discretion granted to him under section 1182(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), to issue Proclamation No. 9645, suspending the entry of aliens into ...

Abbott v. Perez
Docket Number: 17-586
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 25, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2011, Texas adopted a new congressional districting plan and new districting maps for the state legislature. The Equal Protection Clause forbids “racial gerrymandering,” but Texas is also subject to section 2 of the ...

Ohio v. American Express Co.
Docket Number: 16-1454
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 25, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: The Amex credit card companies use a two-sided transaction platform to serve cardholders and merchants. Unlike traditional markets, two-sided platforms exhibit “indirect network effects,” because the value of the platform ...

WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp.
Docket Number: 16-1011
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 22, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: WesternGeco owns patents for a system used to survey the ocean floor. ION sold a competing system, built from components manufactured in the U.S., then shipped abroad for assembly into a system indistinguishable from WesternGeco’s. ...

Currier v. Virginia
Docket Number: 16-1348
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 22, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Currier was indicted for burglary, grand larceny, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Because the prosecution could introduce evidence of his prior burglary and larceny convictions to prove the felon-in-possession ...

Cox v. United States
Docket Number: 16-1017
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 22, 2018
Dalmazzi v. United States
Docket Number: 16-961
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 22, 2018
Carpenter v. United States
Docket Number: 16-402
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 22, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: When a phone connects to a cell site, it generates time-stamped cell-site location information (CSLI) that is stored by wireless carriers for business purposes. The FBI identified the cell phone numbers of robbery suspects. ...

Ortiz v. United States
Docket Number: 16-1423
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 22, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: The integrated “court-martial system” begins with the court-martial, which determines guilt or innocence and levies punishment. There are four appellate courts: the Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) for the Army, Navy-Marine ...

Wisconsin Central Ltd. v. United States
Docket Number: 17-530
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 21, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Congress adopted the Railroad Retirement Tax Act of 1937 in response to the Great Depression, federalizing private railroad pension plans. Private railroads and their employees pay a tax based on employees’ incomes; the ...

South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc.
Docket Number: 17-494
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 21, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Many states tax the retail sales of goods and services in the state. Sellers are required to collect and remit the tax; if they do not in-state consumers are responsible for paying a use tax at the same rate. Under earlier ...

Pereira v. Sessions
Docket Number: 17-459
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 21, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, nonpermanent residents who are subject to removal may be eligible for cancellation of removal if they have “been physically present" in the U.S. for ...

Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission
Docket Number: 17-130
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 21, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has authority to enforce securities laws by instituting an administrative proceeding against an alleged wrongdoer, typically overseen by an administrative law judge (ALJ). Other ...

Chavez-Meza v. United States
Docket Number: 17-5639
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 18, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute. The judge determined the Guidelines range to be 135-168 months and imposed a 135-month sentence. The Sentencing Commission later lowered the ...

Besinek v. Lamone
Docket Number: 17-333
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 18, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Republican voters alleged that Maryland’s Sixth Congressional District was gerrymandered in 2011 in retaliation for their political views. Six years after the General Assembly redrew the District, plaintiffs sought to enjoin ...

Lozman v. Riviera Beach
Docket Number: 17-21
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 18, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: After Lozman towed his floating home into a marina owned by the City, he became an outspoken critic of the City’s plan to condemn waterfront homes for private development. He filed suit, alleging that the City’s approval ...

Rosales-Mireles v. United States
Docket Number: 16-9493
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 18, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Rosales-Mireles pleaded guilty to illegal reentry into the U.S. The presentence report mistakenly counted a misdemeanor conviction twice, yielding a Guidelines range of 77-96 months; the correctly calculated range would have ...

Gill v. Whitford
Docket Number: 16-1161
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 18, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Members of the Wisconsin Legislature are elected from single-member legislative districts. The legislature redraws district boundaries following each census. After the 2010 census, the legislature passed Act 43. Democratic ...

Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky
Docket Number: 16-1435
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 14, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Minnesota law prohibits wearing a “political badge, political button, or other political insignia” inside a polling place on Election Day, Minn. Stat. 211B.11(1), including clothing and accessories with political insignia. ...

Animal Science Products, Inc. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co.
Docket Number: 16-1220
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 14, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Purchasers of vitamin C filed suit, alleging that Chinese exporters had agreed to fix the price and quantity of vitamin C exported to the U.S., in violation of the Sherman Act. The exporters unsuccessfully moved to dismiss ...

China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh
Docket Number: 17-432
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 11, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Dean, an Agritech shareholder, filed a class-action complaint on February 11, 2011, alleging violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which has a two-year statute of limitations and a five-year statute of repose, ...

Sveen v. Melin
Docket Number: 16-1432
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 11, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Minnesota law provides that “the dissolution or annulment of a marriage revokes any revocable . . . beneficiary designation . . . made by an individual to the individual’s former spouse,” Minn. Stat. 524.2–804. If ...

Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute
Docket Number: 16-980
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 11, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), 52 U.S.C. 20507(d), provides that a state may not remove a name from voter rolls on change-of-residence grounds unless the registrant either confirms in writing that he has moved ...

Washington v. United States
Docket Number: 17-269
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 11, 2018
Lamar, Archer & Cofrin, LLP v. Appling
Docket Number: 16-1215
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 4, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Appling owed about $60,000 to his law firm (Lamar), which threatened to withdraw representation and place a lien on its work product. Appling told Lamar that he could cover owed and future legal expenses with an expected ...

Koons v. United States
Docket Number: 17-5716
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 4, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy charges. The district court calculated their advisory Guidelines ranges, which fell below the mandatory minimums under 21 U.S.C. 841(b)(1), and concluded that the mandatory minimums ...

Hughes v. United States
Docket Number: 17-155
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 4, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Hughes, indicted on drug and gun charges, negotiated a Type-C plea agreement, which stipulated that Hughes would receive a sentence of 180 months but did not refer to a particular Guidelines range. The district court sentenced ...

Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission
Docket Number: 16-111
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 4, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Phillips, the owner of a Colorado bakery, told a same-sex couple that he would not create a cake for their wedding because of his religious opposition to same-sex marriages (which Colorado did not then recognize) but that ...

Azar v. Garza
Docket Number: 17-654
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 4, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Doe, a minor was eight weeks pregnant when she unlawfully crossed the border into the U.S. She was detained by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), in a federally-funded Texas shelter. Doe requested an abortion. Absent ...

Collins v. Virginia
Docket Number: 16-1027
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 29, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: While investigating traffic incidents involving an orange and black motorcycle with an extended frame, Officer Rhodes learned that the motorcycle likely was stolen and in Collins’ possession. On Collins’ Facebook profile, ...

City of Hays v. Vogt
Docket Number: 16-1495
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 29, 2018
Lagos v. United States
Docket Number: 16-1519
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 29, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Lagos was convicted of using a company he controlled to defraud a lender of millions of dollars. After Lagos’ company went bankrupt, the lender conducted a private investigation and participated as a party in the company’s ...

Upper Skagit Tribe v. Lundgren
Docket Number: 17-387
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 21, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: The Upper Skagit Indian Tribe purchased land and commissioned a boundary survey, which convinced the Tribe that about an acre of its land lay on the other side of a boundary fence between its land and land owned by the Lundgrens. ...

Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis
Docket Number: 16-285
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 21, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Despite employment contracts providing for individualized arbitration to resolve employment disputes, employees sought to litigate Fair Labor Standards Act claims through collective actions. The Federal Arbitration Act generally ...

United States v. Sanchez-Gomez
Docket Number: 17-312
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 14, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: The Southern District of California adopted a districtwide policy permitting the use of full restraints—handcuffs connected to a waist chain, with legs shackled—on most in-custody defendants produced in court for non-jury ...

Dahda v. United States
Docket Number: 17-43
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 14, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: A judge normally may issue a wiretap order permitting the interception of communications only “within the territorial jurisdiction of the court in which the judge is sitting,” 18 U.S.C. 2518(3). A District of Kansas judge ...

McCoy v. Louisiana
Docket Number: 16-8255
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 14, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: McCoy, charged with murdering his estranged wife’s family, pleaded not guilty, insisting that he was out of state at the time of the killings and that corrupt police killed the victims. Although he adamantly objected to ...

Byrd v. United States
Docket Number: 16-1371
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 14, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Reed rented a car in New Jersey while Byrd waited outside. Reed’s signed agreement warned that permitting an unauthorized driver to drive the car would violate the agreement. Reed listed no additional drivers but gave the ...

Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association
Docket Number: 16-476
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 14, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) makes it unlawful for a state or its subdivisions “to sponsor, operate, advertise, promote, license, or authorize by law or compact . . . a lottery, sweepstakes, ...

Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene's Energy Group, LLC
Docket Number: 16-712
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 24, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Oil States sued Greene's Energy for infringement of a patent relating to technology for protecting wellhead equipment used in hydraulic fracturing. Greene’s challenged the patent’s validity in court and petitioned the ...

SAS Institute Inc. v. Iancu
Docket Number: 16-969
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 24, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: SAS sought inter partes review (35 U.S.C. 311(a)) of ComplementSoft’s software patent, alleging that all 16 of the patent’s claims were unpatentable. The Patent Office instituted review on some of the claims and denied ...

Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC
Docket Number: 16-499
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 24, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners sought compensation under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), part of the Judiciary Act of 1789, 28 U.S.C. 1350, based on terrorist acts committed abroad. They alleged that those acts were in part facilitated by Arab ...

United States v. Microsoft Corp.
Docket Number: 17-2
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 17, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2013, federal agents obtained an 18 U.S.C. 2703 warrant requiring Microsoft to disclose all e-mails and other information associated with a customer's account that was believed to be involved in illegal drug trafficking. ...

Wilson v. Sellers
Docket Number: 16-6855
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 17, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Wilson was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. He unsuccessfully sought habeas relief in Georgia courts, claiming ineffectiveness of counsel during sentencing. The Georgia Supreme Court summarily denied relief. Wilson ...

Sessions v. Dimaya
Docket Number: 15-1498
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 17, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Dimaya, a lawful U.S. permanent resident has two convictions for first-degree burglary under California law. An Immigration Judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals held that California first-degree burglary is a “crime ...

Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro
Docket Number: 16-1362
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 2, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Encino Motorcars' current and former service advisors sought backpay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime-pay requirement, 29 U.S.C. 213(b)(10)(A). The requirement exempts “any salesman, partsman, or mechanic ...

Kisela v. Hughes
Docket Number: 17-467
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 2, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Kisela, a Tucson police officer, shot Hughes less than a minute after arriving, with other officers, at the scene where a woman had been reported to 911 as hacking a tree with a knife and acting erratically. When Kisela fired, ...

Hall v. Hall
Docket Number: 16-1150
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: March 27, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Samuel served as legal advisor to his mother Ethlyn. After falling out with Samuel, Ethlyn transferred her property into a trust and designated her daughter, Elsa, as her successor trustee. Ethlyn sued Samuel and his law ...

Marinello v. United States
Docket Number: 16-1144
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: March 21, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2004-2009, the IRS investigated Marinello’s tax activities. In 2012, Marinello was indicted for violating 26 U.S.C. 7212(a) (the Omnibus Clause), which forbids “corruptly or by force or threats of force . . . obstruct[ing] ...

Ayestas v. Davis
Docket Number: 16-6795
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: March 21, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Ayestas was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in a Texas state court. He secured new counsel; his conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal. A third legal team sought, unsuccessfully, state habeas relief, claiming ...

Cyan, Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund
Docket Number: 15-1439
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: March 20, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: The Securities Act of 1933 creates private rights of action pertaining to securities offerings, grants both federal and state courts jurisdiction over those suits, and bars their removal from state to federal court. The 1995 ...

U. S. Bank N. A. v. Village at Lakeridge, LLC
Docket Number: 15-1509
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: March 5, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Lakeridge. a corporation with a single owner (MBP), filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, owing U.S. Bank $10 million and MBP $2.76 million. Lakeridge submitted a reorganization plan, proposing to impair the interests of both. ...

Merit Management Group, LP v. FTI Consulting, Inc.
Docket Number: 16-784
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: February 27, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Valley agreed to purchase Bedford Downs’ stock for $55 million if it got the last harness-racing license in Pennsylvania, Valley got the license and arranged for Credit Suisse to wire $55 million to third-party escrow agent ...

Patchak v Zinke
Docket Number: 16-498
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: February 27, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Patchak filed suit challenging the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to invoke the Indian Reorganization Act, 25 U.S.C. 5108, and take into trust the Bradley Property, on which the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of ...

Jennings v. Rodriguez
Docket Number: 15-1204
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: February 27, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: After a 2004 conviction, Rodriguez, a Mexican citizen and a lawful U.S. permanent resident, was detained under 8 U.S.C. 1226 while the government sought his removal. In 2007, Rodriguez sought habeas relief, claiming that ...

Murphy v. Smith
Docket Number: 16-1067
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: February 21, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Murphy was awarded a judgment in his federal civil rights suit against two prison guards, including an award of attorney’s fees; 42 U.S.C. 1997e(d)(2) provides that in such cases “a portion of the [prisoner’s] judgment ...

Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers
Docket Number: 16-1276
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: February 21, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Somers alleged that Digital terminated his employment after he reported suspected securities-law violations to senior management. Somers sued, alleging whistleblower retaliation under the Dodd-Frank Act. The Ninth Circuit ...

Rubin v. Islamic Republic of Iran
Docket Number: 16-534
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: February 21, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act grants foreign states and their agencies and instrumentalities immunity from suit in the U.S. and grants their property immunity from attachment and execution in satisfaction of judgments ...

Class v. United States
Docket Number: 16-424
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: February 21, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: A federal grand jury indicted Class for possessing firearms in his locked jeep, which was parked on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D. C.; 40 U.S.C. 5104(e)(1) provides that “An individual . . . may not carry ...

CNH Industrial N. V. v. Reese
Docket Number: 17-515
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: February 20, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1998, CNH agreed to a collective-bargaining agreement (CBA), providing health care benefits under a group benefit plan to “[e]mployees who retire under the . . . Pension Plan.” “All other coverages,” such as life ...

Artis v. District of Columbia
Docket Number: 16-460
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: January 22, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Artis filed a federal-court suit against the District of Columbia, alleging a federal employment discrimination claim and three allied claims under D.C. law; nearly two years remained on the statute of limitations for the ...

District of Columbia v. Wesby
Docket Number: 15-1485
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: January 22, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: District of Columbia police officers responded to a complaint about loud music and illegal activities in a vacant house and found the house in disarray. They smelled marijuana and saw liquor. They found a makeshift strip ...

National Association of Manufacturers. v. Department of Defense
Docket Number: 16-299
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: January 22, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: The Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1362, prohibits “any addition of any pollutant to navigable waters,” defined as “the waters of the United States.” Section 1311(a) contains exceptions, including permitting schemes under ...

Tharpe v. Sellers
Docket Number: 17-6075
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: January 8, 2018

Justia Opinion Summary: Tharpe moved to reopen his federal habeas corpus proceedings regarding his claim that the Georgia jury that convicted him of murder included a white juror, Gattie, who was biased against Tharpe because he is black. The district ...