Issue: (1) Whether the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit misinterpreted United States v. Munsingwear, and thus improperly relied on the district court’s factual findings and legal rulings in an earlier case that was vacated as moot while on appeal, even though other courts of appeals have interpreted Munsingwear as rendering a vacated decision a nullity, as if it the case had never been filed, and draining its factual findings of all vitality; (2) whether the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit misconstrued Rule 60(b)(5) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as this Court has interpreted that rule in Board of Education of Oklahoma City Public Schools v. Dowell and Rufo v. Inmates of Suffolk County Jail by deeming substantial compliance with a consent decree over more than two decades insufficient to justify termination, even though other courts of appeals have held that the defendant’s good faith and substantial compliance with a decree over a long period of time is a ground, standing alone, for terminating the decree; and (3) whether the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit misconstrued Rule 60(b)(5) by affirming the district court’s unilateral expansion of the decree, even though other courts of appeals have held that the rule does not authorize a court to increase the obligations imposed by a decree.
Proceedings and Orders
Jul 13 2012
Application (12A53) to extend the time to file a petition for a writ of certiorari from July 26, 2012 to September 24, 2012, submitted to Justice Alito.
Jul 17 2012
Application (12A53) granted by Justice Alito extending the time to file until September 24, 2012.
On Tuesday, we expect orders from the May 26 Conference at 9:30 a.m. and opinions in one or more argued cases at 10 a.m. On Thursday, the Justices will meet for their June 2 Conference; our list of "petitions to watch" for that Conference will be available soon.
United States v. Texas Whether the Obama administration has the authority to issue its new deferred-action policy for undocumented immigrants, whether the states have standing to challenge the policy at all, whether DHS was required to notify the public about the proposed policy and provide opportunity for the public to weigh in on it, and whether the policy violates the Constitution’s “Take Care Clause,” which requires the president to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
Zubik v. Burwell Because both the Obama administration and the religious non-profits, colleges, and schools challenging the accommodation offered to those who object to complying with the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate confirm that contraceptive coverage could be provided to the challengers’ female employees, through the challengers’ insurance companies, without any notice from the challengers, the decisions of the courts of appeals rejecting the challenge are vacated and remanded. Given the gravity of the dispute and the substantial clarification and refinement in the positions of the parties, the parties on remand should be afforded an opportunity to arrive at an approach going forward that accommodates the challengers’ religious exercise while at the same time ensuring that women covered by the challengers’ health plans receive full and equal health coverage, including contraceptive coverage.
Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt Whether, when applying the “undue burden” standard of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Fifth Circuit erred in concluding that this standard permits Texas to enforce, in nearly all circumstances, laws that would cause a significant reduction in the availability of abortion services while failing to advance the State’s interest in promoting health - or any other valid interest.
Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins Because the Ninth Circuit failed to consider both aspects of the injury-in-fact requirements -- an injury in fact must be both concrete and particularized, but the Ninth Circuit's observations concerned only "particularization" -- its Article III standing analysis was incomplete.
Rogers v. Chatman Whether petitioner was denied effective assistance of counsel where (1) the only issue at trial was whether petitioner is intellectually disabled; (2) petitioner’s IQ scores were within the range for intellectual disability with the Flynn effect, a well-established scientific principle demonstrating that aging norms cause IQ scores to rise for each year since the test was normed, but outside the range without it; and (3) petitioner’s counsel failed to explain the Flynn effect.
Unite Here Local 54 v. Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc. Whether, under § 1113 of the Bankruptcy Code, a bankruptcy court may authorize a unionized debtor employer to abolish its employees’ pensions, health coverage and other benefits without complying with its bargaining obligations under the National Labor Relations Act, when no collective bargaining agreement exists.