Opinions from 2020

Trump v. Vance
Docket Number: 19-635
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: July 9, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: The New York County District Attorney’s Office served a subpoena duces tecum on the personal accounting firm of President Trump, seeking financial records relating to the President and his businesses. The President, acting ...

Trump v. Mazars USA, LLP
Docket Number: 19-715
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: July 9, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Committees of the U. S. House of Representatives issued subpoenas seeking information about the finances of President Trump, his children, and affiliated businesses. The subpoenas were issued to financial institutions and ...

McGirt v. Oklahoma
Docket Number: 18-9526
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: July 9, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: The Major Crimes Act (MCA) provides that, within “the Indian country,” “[a]ny Indian who commits” certain enumerated offenses “shall be subject to the same law and penalties as all other persons committing any of ...

Sharp v. Murphy
Docket Number: 17-1107
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: July 9, 2020
Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru
Docket Number: 19-267
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: July 8, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Two teachers at Roman Catholic elementary schools were employed under agreements that set out the schools’ mission to develop and promote a Catholic School faith community; imposed commitments regarding religious instruction, ...

Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania
Docket Number: 19-431
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: July 8, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) requires covered employers to provide women with “preventive care and screenings” without cost-sharing requirements and relies on Preventive Care Guidelines ...

Colorado Dept. of State v. Baca
Docket Number: 19-518
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: July 6, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Reversing the Tenth Circuit, the Court held that states may impose a sanction on "faithless electors" who pledge to vote for the nominee of their political party in the presidential election and fail to do so. The Court ...

Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, Inc.
Docket Number: 19-631
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: July 6, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 prohibits almost all robocalls to cell phones, 47 U.S.C. 227(b)(1)(A)(iii). A 2015 amendment created an exception that allows robocalls made solely to collect a debt owed to or ...

Chiafalo v. Washington
Docket Number: 19-465
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: July 6, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: When Americans cast ballots for presidential candidates, their votes actually go toward selecting members of the Electoral College, whom each state appoints based on the popular returns. With limited exceptions, states appoint ...

Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue
Docket Number: 18-1195
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 30, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Montana grants tax credits to those who donate to organizations that award scholarships for private school tuition. To reconcile the program with the Montana Constitution, which bars government aid to any school “controlled ...

Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com B.V.
Docket Number: 19-46
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 30, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: A generic name—the name of a class of products or services—is ineligible for federal trademark registration. Booking.com, a travel-reservation website, sought federal registration of marks including the term “Booking.com.” ...

Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, Inc.
Docket Number: 19-177
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 29, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: The United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003 limited the funding of American and foreign nongovernmental organizations to those with “a policy explicitly opposing prostitution and ...

June Medical Services L.L.C. v. Russo
Docket Number: 18-1323
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 29, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Louisiana’s Act 620 required any doctor who performs abortions to hold “active admitting privileges at a hospital . . . located not further than thirty miles from the location at which the abortion is performed or induced.” ...

Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Docket Number: 19-7
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 29, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Following the 2008 financial crisis, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), was established by the Dodd-Frank Act as an independent regulatory agency tasked with ensuring that consumer debt products are safe and ...

Department of Homeland Security v. Thuraissigiam
Docket Number: 19-161
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 25, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) provides for the expedited removal of certain “applicants” seeking admission into the U.S., 8 U.S.C. 1225(a)(1). An applicant may avoid expedited ...

Liu v. Securities and Exchange Commission
Docket Number: 18-1501
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 22, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners solicited foreign nationals to invest in a cancer-treatment center. A Securities and Exchange Commission investigation revealed they misappropriated the funds. The SEC may seek “equitable relief” in civil ...

Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of University of California
Docket Number: 18-587
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 18, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows certain unauthorized aliens who arrived in the U.S. as children to apply for a two-year ...

United States Forest Service v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association
Docket Number: 18-1584
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 15, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Atlantic sought to construct a 604-mile natural gas pipeline from West Virginia to North Carolina, crossing 16 miles of land within the George Washington National Forest. Atlantic secured a special use permit from the U.S. ...

Andrus v. Texas
Docket Number: 18-9674
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 15, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Andrus was six years old, his mother sold drugs out of their apartment. She turned to prostitution and regularly left her five children to binge on drugs. She often was high and had drug-addicted, sometimes violent, boyfriends. ...

Bostock v. Clayton County
Docket Number: 17-1618
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 15, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Three employers each fired a long-time employee for being homosexual or transgender. Each employee sued, alleging sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it “unlawful . . . for an ...

Lomax v. Ortiz-Marquez
Docket Number: 18-8369
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 8, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: The Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PLRA) established the three-strikes rule, which generally prevents a prisoner from bringing suit in forma pauperis (IFP) if he has had three or more prior suits dismissed on the grounds ...

GE Energy Power Conversion France SAS v. Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC
Docket Number: 18-1048
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 1, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: ThyssenKrupp entered into contracts with F. L. for the construction of mills at ThyssenKrupp’s Alabama steel manufacturing plant. Each contract contained an arbitration clause. F. L. entered into a subcontract with GE for ...

Thole v. U. S. Bank N. A.
Docket Number: 17-1712
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 1, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs are retired participants a defined-benefit retirement plan, which guarantees them a fixed payment each month regardless of the plan’s value or its fiduciaries’ investment decisions. Both have been paid all ...

Banister v. Davis
Docket Number: 18-6943
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 1, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Banister was convicted by a Texas court of aggravated assault and sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment. After exhausting his state remedies, he unsuccessfully sought federal habeas relief. Banister timely filed a motion ...

Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico v. Aurelius Investment, LLC
Docket Number: 18-1334
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 1, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Congress invoked its Article IV power to enact the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA). PROMESA created a Financial Oversight and Management Board, whose seven voting members are to be ...

Nasrallah v. Barr
Docket Number: 18-1432
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 1, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Nasrallah pled guilty to receiving stolen property. In removal proceedings, Nasrallah sought relief under the international Convention Against Torture (CAT) to prevent his removal to Lebanon. The Immigration Judge ordered ...

Opati v. Republic of Sudan
Docket Number: 17-1268
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 18, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1998, al Qaeda operatives detonated truck bombs outside the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Victims sued the Republic of Sudan under the state-sponsored terrorism exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act ...

Lucky Brand Dungarees, Inc. v. Marcel Fashions Group, Inc.
Docket Number: 18-1086
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 14, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Lucky Brand and Marcel market clothing. Marcel registered the trademark “Get Lucky.” Lucky Brand registered the trademark “Lucky Brand” and other marks with the word “Lucky.” In a 2003 settlement agreement, Lucky ...

Kelly v. United States
Docket Number: 18-1059
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 7, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: During former New Jersey Governor Christie’s 2013 reelection campaign, Fort Lee’s mayor refused to endorse Christie. Kelly, Christie's Deputy Chief of Staff, Port Authority Deputy Executive Director, Baroni, and another ...

United States v. Sineneng-Smith
Docket Number: 19-67
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 7, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Sineneng-Smith operated a California immigration consulting firm, assisting clients to file applications for a labor certification program that once provided a path for aliens to adjust to lawful permanent resident status. ...

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. City of New York
Docket Number: 18-280
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 27, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: The petitioners challenged a New York City rule regarding the transport of firearms, citing the Second Amendment, and seeking declaratory relief against enforcement of the rule insofar as it prevented their transport of firearms ...

Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc.
Docket Number: 18-1150
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 27, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) includes the text of every Georgia statute currently in force. Non-binding annotations appear beneath each statutory provision, typically including summaries of judicial opinions ...

Maine Community Health Options v. United States
Docket Number: 18-1023
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 27, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act established online exchanges where insurers could sell their healthcare plans. The now-expired “Risk Corridors” program aimed to limit the plans’ profits and losses during ...

Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil, Inc.
Docket Number: 18-1233
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 23, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Romag and Fossil signed an agreement to use Romag’s fasteners in Fossil’s leather goods. Romag eventually discovered that factories in China making Fossil products were using counterfeit Romag fasteners. Romag sued Fossil ...

County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund
Docket Number: 18-260
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 23, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Maui’s wastewater reclamation facility collects sewage, partially treats it, and daily pumps around four million gallons of treated water into the ground through four wells. This effluent then travels about a half-mile, ...

Barton v. Barr
Docket Number: 18-725
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 23, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Over 12 years, Barton a lawful permanent resident, was convicted of state crimes, including a firearms offense, drug offenses, and aggravated assault offenses. An Immigration Judge found him removable under 8 U.S.C. 1229a, ...

Ramos v. Louisiana
Docket Number: 18-5924
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 20, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: In 48 states and in federal court, a single juror’s vote to acquit is enough to prevent a conviction; Louisiana and Oregon punish people based on 10-to-2 verdicts. Ramos was convicted in a Louisiana court by a 10-to-2 jury ...

Thryv, Inc. v. Click-To-Call Technologies, LP
Docket Number: 18-916
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 20, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Inter partes review (IPR) permits a patent challenger to ask the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to reconsider the validity of earlier granted patent claims. If a request comes more than a year after a patent infringement ...

Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian
Docket Number: 17-1498
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 20, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: For nearly a century, the Anaconda Copper Smelter contaminated 300 square miles with arsenic and lead. For 35 years, the EPA has worked with the now-closed smelter’s current owner, Atlantic Richfield, to implement a cleanup ...

Babb v. Wilkie
Docket Number: 18-882
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 6, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Babb, a VA pharmacist, filed suit under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. 633a(a). The district court granted the VA summary judgment, finding that Babb had established a prima facie case but that the VA ...

Kansas v. Glover
Docket Number: 18-556
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 6, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: A deputy ran a license plate check and discovered that the truck belonged to Glover, whose driver’s license had been revoked. The deputy stopped the truck, assuming that Glover was driving. Glover was driving and was charged ...

Republican National Committee v. Democratic National Committee
Docket Number: 19A1016
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 6, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: To slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wisconsin’s Governor ordered Wisconsinites to stay at home until April 24. An unprecedented number of voters requested absentee ballots for the state’s spring election, resulting ...

CITGO Asphalt Refining Co. v. Frescati Shipping Co.
Docket Number: 18-565
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: March 30, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: CARCO sub-chartered an oil tanker from tanker operator Star, which had chartered it from Frescati. During the tanker’s journey, an abandoned ship anchor punctured the tanker’s hull, causing 264,000 gallons of heavy crude ...

Davis v. United States
Docket Number: 19-5421
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: March 23, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Davis, previously convicted of two state felonies, pleaded guilty as a felon in possession of a firearm, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1), 924(a)(2), and to possessing drugs with the intent to distribute, 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C). ...

Kahler v. Kansas
Docket Number: 18-6135
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: March 23, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Kansas adopted the “cognitive incapacity” test for the insanity defense, which examines whether a defendant was able to understand what he was doing when he committed a crime. A defendant may raise mental illness to show ...

Guerrero-Lasprilla v. Barr
Docket Number: 18-776
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: March 23, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Aliens who lived in the U.S. committed drug crimes and were ordered removed. Neither moved to reopen his removal proceedings within 90 days, 8 U.S.C. 1229a(c)(7)(C)(i). Each later unsuccessfully asked the Board of Immigration ...

Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African-American Owned Media
Docket Number: 18-1171
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: March 23, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: ESN, an African-American-owned television-network operator, sought to have cable television conglomerate Comcast carry its channels. Comcast refused, citing lack of demand, bandwidth constraints, and a preference for different ...

Allen v. Cooper
Docket Number: 18-877
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: March 23, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1996, Intersal, a marine salvage company, discovered the shipwreck of the Queen Anne’s Revenge off the North Carolina coast. North Carolina, the shipwreck’s legal owner, contracted with Intersal to conduct recovery. ...

Kansas v. Garcia
Docket Number: 17-834
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: March 3, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) makes it unlawful to hire an alien knowing that he is unauthorized to work in the U.S., 8 U.S.C. 1324a(a)(1), (h)(3). Employers must use an I-9 form to “attest” that they ...

Shular v. United States
Docket Number: 18-6662
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: February 26, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: The Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) mandates a 15-year minimum sentence for a defendant convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm who has at least three convictions for “serious drug offense[s],” 18 U.S.C. ...

Intel Corp. Investment Policy Committee v. Sulyma
Docket Number: 18-1116
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: February 26, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) requires plaintiffs with “actual knowledge” of an alleged fiduciary breach to file suit within three years of gaining that knowledge, 29 U.S.C. 1113(2), rather than ...

Holguin-Hernandez v. United States
Docket Number: 18-7739
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: February 26, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Holguin was convicted on drug charges and sentenced to imprisonment and supervised release while he was still serving a term of supervised release for an earlier conviction. The prosecution sought an additional consecutive ...

Rodriguez v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Docket Number: 18-1269
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: February 25, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: The IRS allows affiliated corporations to file a consolidated federal return, 26 U.S.C. 1501, and issues any refund as a single payment to the group’s designated agent. If a dispute arises, federal courts normally turn ...

Hernandez v. Mesa
Docket Number: 17-1678
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: February 25, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: U.S. Border Patrol Agent Mesa, standing on U.S. soil shot and killed Hernández, a 15-year-old Mexican national, who was on Mexican soil, after having run back across the border after entry onto U.S. territory. Mesa contends ...

Monasky v. Taglieri
Docket Number: 18-935
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: February 25, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, 22 U.S.C. 9001, provides that a child wrongfully removed from her country of “habitual residence” ordinarily must be returned to that country. ...

McKinney v. Arizona
Docket Number: 18-1109
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: February 25, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: A jury found McKinney guilty of two counts of first-degree murder. The judge weighed the aggravating and mitigating circumstances and sentenced McKinney to death. Nearly 20 years later, the Ninth Circuit held on habeas review ...

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Juan v. Feliciano
Docket Number: 18-921
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: February 24, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1979, the Superintendent of Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of San Juan created a trust to administer a pension plan for Catholic school employees. In 2016, active and retired school employees filed suit, alleging ...

Ritzen Group, Inc. v. Jackson Masonry, LLC
Docket Number: 18-938
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: January 14, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: Ritzen sued Jackson in Tennessee state court for breach of contract. Jackson filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Under 11 U.S.C. 362(a), filing a bankruptcy petition automatically “operates as a stay” of creditors’ debt-collection ...

Retirement Plans Committee of IBM v. Jander
Docket Number: 18-1165
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: January 14, 2020

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2014, the Supreme Court held that a claim for breach of the duty of prudence imposed on plan fiduciaries by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) on the basis of inside information, must plausibly allege ...