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Petitions We’re Watching

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Petitions Relisted for the Next Conference

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
16-460 Artis v. District of Columbia Whether the tolling provision in 28 U.S.C. § 1367(d) suspends the limitations period for the state-law claim while the claim is pending and for thirty days after the claim is dismissed, or whether the tolling provision does not suspend the limitations period but merely provides 30 days beyond the dismissal for the plaintiff to refile.
16-658 Hamer v. Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago Whether Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(5)(C) can deprive a court of appeals of jurisdiction over an appeal that is statutorily timely, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 4th, 7th and 10th Circuits have concluded, or whether Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(5)(C) is instead a nonjurisdictional claim-processing rule because it is not derived from a statute, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 9th and District of Columbia Circuits have concluded, and therefore subject to equitable considerations such as forfeiture, waiver and the unique-circumstances doctrine.
16-743 Independence Institute v. Federal Election Commission Whether Congress may require organizations engaged in the genuine discussion of policy issues, unconnected to any campaign for office, to report to the Federal Election Commission, and publicly disclose their donors, pursuant to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002.
16-5454 Baston v. U.S. Whether 18 U.S.C. § 1596(a)(2) – which expressly establishes extraterritorial jurisdiction over sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1591 – is a valid exercise of Congress’s power under the foreign commerce clause when applied in a criminal case to order restitution from a foreign defendant to a foreign victim for conduct that occurred exclusively overseas.
16-6250 Perez v. Florida (1) Whether a special jury instruction as to Section 790.162, Florida Statutes, that an accused may be convicted of that offense with the “stated intent” to do bodily harm to any person or damage to the property of any person, amounts to an unconstitutional diminishment of the required criminal mens rea or scienter under the United States Supreme Court's decision in Elonis v. United States; and (2) whether, under Elonis, Section 790.162, Florida Statutes, contains the necessary criminal element of mens rea or guilty knowledge instead of a mental state of mere negligence.
16-6316 Rippo v. Baker Whether the trial judge's failure to recuse himself from the petitioner's capital trial violated the due process clause.

Petitions Featured as Petition of the Day

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
16-810 Nacchio v. U.S. (1) Whether funds forfeited pursuant to a criminal conviction are deductible in cases in which such forfeited funds (in contrast with a simultaneously imposed punitive fine) are earmarked and used to compensate victims of the underlying criminal offense; and (2) whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's holding in this case that such forfeited funds are not deductible conflicts with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit's holding in Stephens v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit's holding in Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. v. United States.
16-790 Butka v. Sessions Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit erred in this case by holding that it had no jurisdiction to review the denial of a motion to reopen by the Board of Immigration Appeals, where the review sought was limited to assessing the legal framework upon which the sua sponte request was made.
16-786 Justice v. Internal Revenue Service What constitutes a “return” for purposes of bankruptcy.
16-784 Merit Management Group, LP v. FTI Consulting Whether the safe harbor of Section 546(e) of the Bankruptcy Code prohibits avoidance of a transfer made by or to a financial institution, without regard to whether the institution has a beneficial interest in the property transferred, consistent with decisions from the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 8th, and 10th Circuits, but contrary to the decisions from the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 7th and 11th Circuits.
16-771 Capitol Records, LLC v. Vimeo, LLC Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit erred in holding, contrary to the considered view of the United States Copyright Office and in conflict with the New York state appellate courts, that when Congress enacted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and added Section 512 to the Copyright Act, it implicitly limited and preempted the state-law rights and remedies that Section 301(c) says “shall not be annulled or limited.”
16-759 Rutgerson v. U.S. (1) Whether a defendant “induce[s]" the assent of another person, within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 2422, where the defendant accepts the request of the other person, who has already assented to the course of conduct prior to and independent of any action by the defendant; and (2) whether the court of appeals correctly applied the harmless-error doctrine to the exclusion of evidence of a government investigation showing the petitioner's lack of interest in sex involving any underage person prior to contact with the government, where the petitioner's lack of predisposition was essential to his entrapment defense.
16-755 Menendez v. U.S. Whether a court may consider a legislator's motive for performing an act when deciding whether the act is protected by the speech or debate clause.
16-753 Jarvis v. Cuomo (1) Whether the First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the State of New York from compelling an entire profession, namely individuals who operate family daycare businesses, to accept a mandatory representative for lobbying and contracting with the State over regulations and policies that affect that profession; and (2) whether a private party that violates a citizen's First Amendment rights is immune from liability for damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 if that party acted with a “good faith” belief that its unconstitutional conduct was lawful.
16-745 Meyers v. Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin (1) Whether Congress abrogated the sovereign immunity of an Indian tribe under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, codified as 15 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq., by providing that “any ... government” may be liable for damages; and (2) whether an individual who receives a computer-generated cash register receipt displaying more than the last five digits of the individual's credit card number and the card's expiration date has suffered a concrete injury sufficient to confer standing under Article III of the United States Constitution.
16-736 DIRECTV Group Holdings, LLC v. Michigan Department of Treasury (1) Whether the Multistate Tax Compact has the status of a contract that binds its signatory states; and (2) whether a state law that imposes retroactive tax liability for a period of almost seven years, in a manner that upsets settled expectations and reasonable reliance interests, violates the due process clause.
16-733 Sanchez de Lozada v. Mamani Whether plaintiffs may pursue claims against the former head of state and defense minister of a foreign country under the Torture Victim Protection Act for alleged misconduct in that country when they have already recovered adequate remedies in the foreign country for their alleged losses.
16-730 Public Integrity Alliance v. City of Tucson Whether the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment permits the City of Tucson to exclude certain registered voters from the primary election for a citywide representative based solely on the geographic location of such voters' residence within the city.
16-729 Buehler v. Austin Police Department Whether a third-party finding of probable cause—including a post-arrest grand jury indictment—precludes a false arrest suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit has held pursuant to its “independent intermediary doctrine,” in conflict with precedent of this court and other courts of appeals.
16-706 Detroit Free Press v. Department of Justice Whether the Freedom of Information Act requires disclosure of booking photos of publicly named, federal indictees who have already appeared in open court.
16-699 Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Michigan Department of Treasury (1) Whether the Multistate Tax Compact has the status of a contract that binds its signatory states; and (2) whether a state law that imposes retroactive tax liability for a period of almost seven years, in a manner that upsets settled expectations and reasonable reliance interests, violates the due process clause.
16-692 Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur v. Farhang (1) Whether a choice-of-law provision in a foreign state's contract automatically waives sovereign immunity under 28 U.S.C. § 1605(a)(1), regardless of the contract's other terms indicating an intent not to waive immunity; and (2) whether, given the requirement that any waiver of foreign sovereign immunity be narrowly construed, an implied waiver of immunity in one agreement between the parties gives a court license to extend the waiver to claims not premised on that agreement.
16-685 Norfolk County Retirement System v. Health Management Retirement Associates (1) Whether a finding of actual wrongdoing is a legal prerequisite to an investor pleading loss causation based on the announcement of a government investigation into the defendant's fraudulent practices; and (2) whether an investor who invokes a fraud-on-the-market presumption of reliance is barred from pleading loss causation based on a corrective disclosure that analyzes information already in the public domain but not widely known to the market.
16-684 PLIVA v. Kohles Whether the prohibition on private enforcement of the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act precludes state-law tort claims predicated on allegations that a generic drug manufacturer violated the FDCA by failing to implement Food-and-Drug-Administration-approved labeling changes in a manner considered timely under state law.
16-683 Jankovic v. Int'l Crisis Group (1) Whether, for a defamation plaintiff to be deemed a limited-purpose public figure, the defamatory statement must be directly related (or “germane”) to the plaintiff's voluntary involvement in the particular public controversy; and (2) if the court grants certiorari on the above question, whether a court may grant summary judgment in an actual-malice case on the ground that the plaintiff has not proven that the defendant “actually possessed subjective doubt” about the truth of a story, even if, based on the admissible evidence, a reasonable jury could find that the defendant actually possessed subjective doubt.
16-679 McFadden v. U.S. (1) Whether and under what circumstances overwhelming evidence of an element omitted from a criminal jury instruction is a sufficient basis for finding the error harmless; and (2) whether proof that the defendant knew the name and physiological effects of the product he was selling compels a jury to conclude that the defendant “knew he was dealing with a ‘controlled substance’” as required by McFadden v. United States.
16-673 Gordon v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (1) Whether a federal official may retroactively ratify an ultra vires government action when: (a) no federal official was authorized to perform the act at the time it was initially undertaken; (b) the purported ratification does not include an examination of any facts related to the act performed; or (c) the ratification purports to encompass not only the initial act but also federal court rulings entered in response to the act; and (2) whether federal courts possess subject matter jurisdiction under Article III of the Constitution to hear a case filed at the behest of an individual who, from the time suit was filed until judgment was entered, lacked authority to vindicate the executive branch's interest in seeing that the law is obeyed.
16-668 Magee v. Coca-Cola Refreshments USA Whether Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 applies only to physical spaces that people can enter.
16-643 Estate of Jimma Pal Reat v. Rodriguez Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit erred in reversing a judgment denying qualified immunity to a 911 operator and holding, in accord with the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 4th and 5th Circuits, but in contrast to the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th Circuits, that a 14th Amendment state-created danger claim covers only conduct by a state actor that imposes limitations on a person's freedom to act on his own behalf.
16-636 Walker v. Texas (1) Whether, as Justices Ginsburg and Thomas suggested last term, this court should conduct a “fresh examination” of the “separate sovereigns” exception to the double jeopardy clause, Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle (Ginsburg, J., concurring); and (2) whether, as this court has previously suggested, the “separate sovereigns” exception at least should be inapplicable when state and federal prosecutors have worked so closely together that they are “in essential fact” one entity, Bartkus v. Illinois.
16-629 American Civil Liberties Union v. Central Intelligence Agency Whether the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's investigative report concerning the Central Intelligence Agency's former program of detention, torture, and abuse of detainees became an “agency record,” subject to the Freedom of Information Act, when the Senate Committee transmitted it to several executive agencies with instructions for its wide dissemination and use.
16-612 Langbord v. Department of Treasury (1) Whether, when the government seizes property from private citizens and intends to retain it indefinitely, it can avoid the procedures, deadlines and penalties set forth in the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 by merely asserting that the property was stolen from the government and declaring that it has no intention of seeking forfeiture; and (2) whether the government can avoid CAFRA's protections by strategically waiting for years and then filing a declaratory judgment claim that seeks essentially the same relief as is barred by CAFRA.
16-610 Alaska Oil and Gas Association v. Jewell Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit's exceedingly permissive standard improperly allows the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to designate huge geographic areas as “critical habitat” under the Endangered Species Act when much of the designated area fails to meet the statutory criteria.
16-596 Alaska v. Jewell Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit's exceedingly permissive standard improperly allows the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services to designate huge geographic areas as “critical habitat” under the Endangered Species Act when much of the designated area fails to meet the statutory criteria.
16-579 Bright v. Massachusetts (1) Whether the Eighth Amendment's requirement of individualized sentencing for a child who confronts a sentence of life in prison is satisfied by the possibility that a future parole board may exercise its discretion to release him early; and (2) whether the imposition of a mandatory life sentence on a child convicted on a joint venture theory, without any individualized sentencing consideration, violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.
16-577 Shelton v. McQuiggin Whether, under Schriro v. Landigran, a habeas petitioner is entitled to an evidentiary hearing where his allegations would entitle him to relief and are not contravened by the record, as at least three circuits have held, or whether the petitioner must already have factual support for his allegations, as four other circuits have now held.
16-572 Citizens Against Reservation Shopping v. Jewell (1) Whether, under the Indian Reorganization Act, to have been a “recognized Indian tribe now under Federal jurisdiction” in 1934, a tribe must have been “recognized” at that time; and (2) whether, to have been “under Federal jurisdiction” in 1934, a tribe must have been located in Indian country—that is, on land over which the United States exercised jurisdiction to the exclusion of state jurisdiction.
16-564 Darin v. U.S. (1) Whether the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment permits the government to prosecute a defendant who lacks minimum contacts to the United States; and (2) whether foreign criminal defendants must voluntarily travel to the United States, and subject themselves to jurisdiction here, to challenge the government's constitutional authority to hale them into court in this country.
16-548 Belmora LLC v. Bayer Consumer Care AG Whether Sections 14(3) and 43(a) of the Lanham Act allow a foreign business that has neither used nor registered its trademark in the United States to sue the owner of a U.S. trademark for conduct relating to the owner's use of its U.S. mark.
16-543 Mickelson v. County of Ramsey Whether due process allows governments to confiscate money from innocent people on the basis of an arrest and then force those people to prove that they are entitled to have their money returned.
16-533 Riley v. Elkhart Community Schools (1) Whether, to establish a prima facie case of discrimination in promotion or hiring, a plaintiff is required to show that the position in question was filled by someone outside his or her protected group; and (2) whether proof that a plaintiff was better qualified than the person hired or promoted is evidence of pretext only if the differences are so conclusive “that there can be no dispute among reasonable persons of impartial judgment that the plaintiff was clearly better qualified for the position at issue,” the avowedly “high evidentiary bar” applied by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.
16-499 Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC Whether the Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1350, categorically forecloses corporate liability.
16-498 Patchak v. Jewell (1) Whether a statute directing the federal courts to “promptly dismiss” a pending lawsuit following substantive determinations by the courts (including this court's determination that the “suit may proceed”) – without amending the underlying substantive or procedural laws – violates the Constitutions separation of powers principles; and (2) whether a statute which does not amend any generally applicable substantive or procedural laws, but deprives the petitioner of the right to pursue his pending lawsuit, violates the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.
16-492 PEM Entities LLC v. Levin Whether bankruptcy courts should apply a federal rule of decision (as five circuits have held) or a state law rule of decision (as two circuits have held, expressly acknowledging a split of authority) when deciding to recharacterize a debt claim in bankruptcy as a capital contribution.
16-481 TV Azteca v. Ruiz (1) Whether a defendant's general business contacts or sporadic and involuntary contacts in the forum state that have no causal connection to the plaintiff's cause of action can establish specific personal jurisdiction consistent with the due process clause; and (2) whether, under the “effects test” described in Calder v. Jones and Walden v. Fiore, the forum state must be the “focal point” of the alleged defamatory statements and the injury suffered, or whether the defendant's more general efforts to “serve the market” are sufficient to establish specific jurisdiction.
16-467 Taylor v. Maryland (1) Under the exception to the warrant requirement announced in Arizona v. Gant, permitting a vehicular search incident to a recent occupant's arrest “when it is reasonable to believe evidence relevant to the crime of arrest might be found in the vehicle,” what quantum of particularized suspicion is required by the Fourth Amendment to justify the search; and (2) whether the unquantified experience of the arresting officer, alone, may supply the necessary particularized suspicion to justify the vehicular search.
16-464 Lavigne v. Cajun Deep Foundations, L.L.C. (1) Whether a plaintiff is required to show that he or she was replaced by someone outside his or her protected group in order to establish a prima facie case of discriminatory termination; and (2) whether, where a claimant files a timely Title VII charge asserting that employer conduct was the result of a particular unlawful motive, the claimant may, after the end of the charge-filing period, amend that charge, or bring a civil action, asserting that the conduct was also the result of a second unlawful motive.
16-445 Sims v. Tennessee Whether this court's decision in Hall v. Florida must be applied retroactively on collateral review.
16-402 Carpenter v. U.S. Whether the warrantless seizure and search of historical cell phone records revealing the location and movements of a cell phone user over the course of 127 days is permitted by the Fourth Amendment.
16-395 Payne v. Tennessee Whether this court's decision in Hall v. Florida must be applied on collateral review.
16-368 Noble Energy v. Jewell (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit erred in refusing to apply the presumption that congress intends positive law to retain common law principles absent clear evidence to the contrary, United States v. Texas, and instead deferring under Auer v. Robbins to an agency's conclusion that its general regulations implicitly displace the common law; (2) whether the “general” Auer presumption that Congress intended deference to the agency applies when this court has recognized a specific countervailing presumption of congressional intent; and (3) whether Auer and Bowles v. Seminole Rock & Sand Co. should be overruled.
16-317 Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas v. Robert R. McCormick Foundation (1) Whether the the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit correctly held—contrary to several other courts of appeals—that the presumption against federal preemption of state law does not apply in the bankruptcy context; (2) whether the 2nd Circuit correctly held—following the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 3rd, 6th, and 8th Circuits, but contrary to the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 7th and 11th Circuits—that a fraudulent transfer is exempt from avoidance under 11 U.S.C. § 546(e) when a financial institution acts as a mere conduit for fraudulently transferred property, or whether instead the safe harbor applies only when the financial institution has its own beneficial interest in the transferred property; and (3) whether the 2nd Circuit correctly held—contrary to this court's decisions holding that it is for Congress, and not the courts, to balance the multiple purposes of the Bankruptcy Code, and that courts must therefore rely first and foremost on the text of the Code—that 11 U.S.C. § 546(e) is properly construed to extend far beyond its text and impliedly preempt fraudulent-transfer actions brought by private parties (as opposed to the “trustee” expressly mentioned in the statute).
16-308 Dot Foods v. Department of Revenue for the State of Washington Whether, or under what circumstances, imposing additional tax beyond the year preceding the legislative session in which the law was enacted violates due process.
16-202 Romag Fasteners v. Fossil (1) Whether, under Section 35 of the Lanham Act, willful infringement is a prerequisite for an award of infringer's profits for a violation of Section 43(a), which prohibits trademark infringement through false representations regarding the origin, endorsement, or association of goods through the use of another's distinctive mark; and (2) whether and to what extent the defense of laches may bar an award for patent infringement brought within the Patent Act's six-year statutory limitations period, 35 U.S.C. § 286—the same issue this Court granted for plenary review in SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC.
16-141 Hyosung D&P Co., Ltd. v. U.S. (1) Whether deference under Auer v. Robbins should be afforded to the interpretation of an agency regulation offered by the agency's lawyers in a case in which the agency is itself a party; and (2) whether Auer and Bowles v. Seminole Rock & Sand Co. should be overruled.
16-111 Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission Whether applying Colorado's public accommodations law to compel petitioner to create expression that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage violates the Free Speech or Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment.
15-1509 U.S. Bank National Association v. Village at Lakeridge (1) Whether an assignee of an insider claim acquires the original claimant's insider status, such that his or her vote to confirm a cramdown plan cannot be counted under 11 U.S.C. § 1129(a)(10); (2) whether the appropriate standard of review for determining non-statutory insider status is the de novo standard of review applied by the Third, Seventh, and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeal, or the clearly erroneous standard of review adopted for the first time by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal in this action; and (3) whether the proper test for determining non-statutory insider status requires bankruptcy courts to conduct an “arm's length” analysis as applied by the Third, Seventh and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeal, or to apply a “functional equivalent” test which looks to factors comparable to those enumerated for statutory insider classifications as erroneously applied for the first time by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal in this action. CVSG: 2/13/2017.
15-1461 Meshal v. Higgenbotham Whether a U.S. citizen may bring a Bivens claim in the absence of any other remedy when federal law enforcement officers unlawfully detain and grossly mistreat him during a criminal counterterrorism investigation abroad.

Calls for the Views of the Solicitor General

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
22O147 New Mexico v. Colorado (1) Whether Colorado is liable under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9607(a), and common law for all costs, including prejudgment interest, incurred by New Mexico in responding to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances from the Gold King Mine, the Sunnyside Mine, or the American Tunnel to the date of judgment; (2) whether Colorado is liable under CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. § 9613(g)(2), and common law, for all response costs that will be incurred by New Mexico in responding to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances from the Gold King Mine, the Sunnyside Mine, or the American Tunnel; (3) whether Colorado is in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act's imminent and substantial endangerment provision, 42 U.S.C. § 6972(a)(1)(B), until it ceases the disposal of hazardous substances from the Gold King Mine and the Sunnyside Mine, including, but not limited to, acid wastewater, mine sludge, mine-dump runoff, and metals into the Animas River watershed; (4) whether Colorado has negligently, recklessly and willfully authorized and allowed the discharge of toxic mine waste directly into the Animas River in a manner that has injured and continues to threaten the health, safety, and comfort of downstream New Mexico residents; (5) whether the court should award New Mexico compensatory, consequential, and punitive damages caused by Colorado's negligent, reckless, and willful conduct, including, but not limited to, investigation, clean-up, and remedial costs, economic loss, diminution in value, and stigma damages; (6) whether the court should order Colorado to abate the ongoing public nuisance in the Upper Animas Mining District and the Animas River within Colorado; and (7) whether Colorado is liable for all costs incurred and costs that may be incurred by New Mexico to abate the nuisance in the Animas and San Juan Rivers within New Mexico.
16-534 Rubin v. Islamic Republic of Iran (1) Whether 28 U.S.C. § 1610(g) provides a freestanding attachment immunity exception that allows terror victim judgment creditors to attach and execute upon assets of foreign state sponsors of terrorism regardless of whether assets are otherwise subject to execution under Section 1610; and (2) whether the commercial use exception to execution immunity, codified at 28 U.S.C. § 1610(a), applies to a foreign sovereign's property located in the United States only when the property is used by the foreign state itself.
16-477 New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association v. National Collegiate Athletic Association Whether a federal statute that prohibits adjustment or repeal of state-law prohibitions on private conduct impermissibly commandeers the regulatory power of states in contravention of New York v. United States and Printz v. United States.
16-476 Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association Whether a federal statute that prohibits modification or repeal of state-law prohibitions on private conduct impermissibly commandeers the regulatory power of states in contravention of New York v. United States.
16-334 Bank Melli v. Bennett (1) Whether Section 1610(g) of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act establishes a freestanding exception to sovereign immunity, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit held below, or instead merely supersedes First National City Bank v. Banco Para El Comercio Exterior de Cuba’s presumption of separate status while still requiring a plaintiff to satisfy the criteria for overcoming immunity elsewhere in Section 1610, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has held and the United States has repeatedly urged; and (2) whether a court should apply federal or state law to determine whether assets constitute “property of” or “assets of” the sovereign under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act and Section 1610(g), and whether those provisions require that the sovereign own the property in question, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has held and the United States has repeatedly urged, contrary to the decision below.
16-217 Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. Whether the Ninth Circuit erred in concluding that the affirmation of good faith belief that a given use of material use is not authorized “by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law,” required under Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), may be purely subjective and, therefore, that an unreasonable belief—such as a belief formed without consideration of the statutory fair use factors—will not subject the sender of a takedown notice to liability under Section 512(f) of the DMCA.
16-130 U.S. ex rel. Advocates for Basic Legal Equality v. U.S. Bank, N.A. Whether, under the public disclosure bar of the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3730(e)(4)(A), which prohibits qui tam actions when “substantially the same allegations or transactions” have been publicly disclosed, unless the qui tam plaintiff is an original source of the information, a qui tam action may proceed where it is based on specific allegations of fraud that were not the subject of prior public disclosures and that add substantial material information to the public disclosures, and when the publicly disclosed allegations “encompass” the qui tam allegations only if both sets of allegations are characterized at a very high level of generality.
16-26 Bulk Juliana, Ltd. v. World Fuel Services (Singapore) PTE, Ltd. (1) Whether foreign parties, who have no actual or apparent authority to bind a vessel, can contractually bestow presumptive authority on the time charterer, without the vessel owner's knowledge or involvement, and thereby create a maritime lien that would not otherwise arise without the contract; (2) whether the exercise of in rem jurisdiction premised on the existence of a maritime lien that only exists by virtue of a contractual choice of U.S. law entered into by parties without authority to bind the vessel, and that would not exist in the absence of the contract, violates the axiom that jurisdiction that would not otherwise exist cannot be conferred by the parties' consent; (3) whether a contract between a marine fuel supplier and a time charterer selecting U.S. law as the law governing an entirely foreign transaction, for the purpose of creating a maritime lien that would not arise but for the contract, violates the prescription that two contracting parties cannot encumber the property of a third party; and (4) whether the plain and ordinary meaning of the “General Maritime Law of the United States” includes the statutory remedies afforded by the U.S. maritime lien statutes.
15-1464 Warfaa v. Ali Whether a claim against an individual defendant who committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of international law abroad touches and concerns the United States such that the Alien Tort Statute that confers federal jurisdiction over the claim where that defendant sought safe haven in the United States, obtained lawful permanent residency in the United States, and continues to reside in the United States, availing himself of the benefits and privileges associated with living in the United States.
15-1439 Cyan v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund Whether state courts lack subject matter jurisdiction over covered class actions that allege only Securities Act of 1933 claims.
15-1345 Ali v. Warfaa Whether a foreign official's common-law immunity for acts performed on behalf of a foreign state is abrogated by plaintiff's allegations that those official acts violated jus cogens norms of international law.
15-1305 BeavEx Inc. v. Costello Whether the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act preempts generally-applicable state laws that force motor carriers to treat and pay all drivers as “employees” rather than as independent contractors.
15-1223 Southwest Securities v. Segner Whether, under Section 506(c) of the Bankruptcy Code, which authorizes the trustee to “recover from property securing an allowed secured claim the reasonable, necessary costs and expenses of preserving, or disposing of such property to the extent of any benefit to the holder of such claim[,]” secured creditors are obliged to shoulder the trustee's maintenance costs when retaining encumbered property in the hope of benefiting other creditors for the period a trustee abandons encumbered property.
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