This morning the Court, as expected, released the opinions in the remaining four cases this Term:  Bilski v. Kappos (patents), Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (separation of powers), McDonald v. Chicago (guns), and Christian Legal Society v. Martinez (right of association).  It also granted cert. in six cases, while denying the tobacco petitions.

In McDonald v. Chicago (08-1571), the Court reverses and remands in an opinion by Justice Alito.  The vote is 5-4.  Justice Stevens writes a dissenting opinion, and Justice Breyer writes a separate one, joined by Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor.

In Christian Legal Society v. Martinez (08-1371), the Court affirms and remands, in an opinion by Ginsburg.  The vote is 5-4. Justice Alito dissents, joined by the Chief Justice and Justices Scalia and Thomas.  Justices Stevens and Kennedy each concur.

In Bilski v. Kappos (08-964), the Court affirms, in an opinion by Justice Kennedy.   The opinion for the majority is not supported in all respects by those who join in part.  Justice Breyer concurs in the judgment, joined by Scalia.  Stevens concurs in the judgment, joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor.

In Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (08-861), the Court reverses in part, affirms in part, and remands, in an opinion by the Chief Justice.  The vote is 5-4.  Justice Breyer dissents, joined by Justices Stevens, Ginsburg, and Sotomayor.

The Court granted cert. in U.S. Chamber of Commerce v. Candelaria (09-115), Janus Capital v. First Derivative Traders (09-525), Henderson v. Shinseki (09-1036), Milner v. Dept. of Navy (09-1163), CIGNA Corp. v. Amara (09-804), and Pepper v. United States (09-6822).

The full texts of the opinions soon, as well as the briefs in the granted cases, follow the jump.

Title: Amara v. CIGNA Corp.CIGNA Corp. v. Amara
Docket: 09-78409-804
Issues: (1) Whether a district court, after finding violations of the "advance notice of reduction requirement" in Section 204(h) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), lacks the authority to require the prior benefit provisions to be reinstated; and (2) whether a district court, after finding that participants were promised "comparable" or "larger" future retirement benefits in a summary of material modification errs in concluding that it lacks the authority to require at least "comparable" future benefits to be provided.

Title: United States Chamber of Commerce v. Candelaria
Docket: 09-115
Issues: Whether an Arizona statute that imposes sanctions on employers who hire unauthorized aliens is invalid under a federal statute that expressly "preempt[s] any State or local law imposing civil or criminal sanctions (other than through licensing and similar laws) upon those who employ, or recruit or refer for a fee for employment, unauthorized aliens"; whether the Arizona statute, which requires all employers to participate in a federal electronic employment verification system, is preempted by a federal law that specifically makes that system voluntary; and whether the Arizona statute is impliedly preempted because it undermines the "comprehensive scheme" that Congress created to regulate the employment of aliens.

Title: Janus Capital Group, Inc. v. First Derivative Traders
Docket: 09-525
Issues: (1) Whether a service provider can be held primarily liable in a private securities-fraud action for "help[ing]" or "participating in" another company's misstatements; and (2) whether a service provider can be held primarily liable in a private securities-fraud action for statements that were not directly and contemporaneously attributed to the service provider.

Title: Henderson v. Shinseki
Docket: 09-1036
Issue: Whether the time limit in 38 U.S.C. § 7266(a) constitutes a statute of limitations subject to the doctrine of equitable tolling, or whether the time limit is instead jurisdictional and therefore bars application of that doctrine.

Title: Milner v. Department of the Navy
Docket: 09-1163
Issue: Whether 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(2), which allows a government agency to keep secret only documents related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency, must be strictly construed to preclude the “High 2″ expansion created by some circuits but rejected by others.

Title: Pepper v. United States
Docket: 09-6822
Issues: (1)

Whether a federal district judge can consider a defendant’s post-sentencing rehabilitation as a permissible factor
supporting a downward sentencing variance under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a); (2) w
hether as a sentencing consideration under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), post-sentencing rehabilitation should be
treated the same as post-offense rehabilitation; and (3) w
hen a district court judge is removed from resentencing a defendant after remand, and a new judge is assigned,
is the new judge obligated under the doctrine of the "law of the case" to follow sentencing findings issued by the
original judge that had been previously affirmed on appeal.

No. 08-1521, McDonald v. Chicago

No. 08-1371, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez

No. 08-964, Bilski v. Kappos

No. 08-861, Free Enterprise Fund v. PCAOB

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline, Merits Cases