Opinions from 2018

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. Democr...

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...

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...

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 en...

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...

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 dismi...

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 insigni...

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 an ins...

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 mov...

Washington v. United States
Docket Number: 17-269
Docket Number: 17-269
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 11, 2018
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 repo...

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 tha...

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...

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 sen...

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 m...

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. Ab...

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
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...

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 g...

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 L...

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 th...

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,...

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...

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-jur...

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 judg...

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 Ar...

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 Pa...

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 r...

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 “crim...

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....

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 trafficki...

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 mechan...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 ag...

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 Circui...

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 ca...

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 judgm...

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 insu...

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 th...

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 th...

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 d...