Editor's Note :

Editor's Note :

In previous years, the Court released orders the morning after the Court’s “Long Conference.” It has not done so this year. Beginning last Term, the Court consistently considered petitions at least two times before granting certiorari. To the extent that practice continues -- and there is no affirmative evidence the Court intends to drop it -- so we are again doubtful that certiorari will be granted in any cases today.

October Term 2010

View this list sorted by case name.

October Sitting

Abbott v. US; Gould v. US, No. 09-479 [Arg: 10.04.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 11.15.2010]

Holding: A defendant is subject to the highest mandatory minimum specified for his conduct in 18 U.S.C. 924(c) unless another provision of law directed to conduct proscribed by Section 924(c) specifically imposes an even greater mandatory minimum sentence. (Kagan, J., recused).
Ransom v. FIA Card Services, No. 09-907 [Arg: 10.04.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 01.11.2011]

Holding: A debtor in bankruptcy who does not make loan or lease payments may not take the deduction that is otherwise available for ownership of an auto.
Michigan v. Bryant, No. 09-150 [Arg: 10.05.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 02.28.2011]

Holding: A statement given to police by a wounded crime victim identifying the person who shot him may be admitted as evidence at the trial if the victim dies before trial and thus does not appear. Because the primary purpose of the interrogation was to enable police to deal with an ongoing emergency, the statements resulting from that interrogation were not testimonial and could be admitted without violating the Confrontation Clause. (Kagan, J., recused).
NASA v. Nelson, No. 09-530 [Arg: 10.05.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 1.19.2011]

Holding: The Court upheld NASA's background checks for employees of companies working under contract. (Kagan, J., recused).
Los Angeles County v. Humphries, No. 09-350 [Arg: 10.05.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 11.30.2010]

Holding: Under the Supreme Court's decision in Monell v. New York City Dep't of Social Services (1978), a plaintiff who sues a local government for civil rights violations under federal law must show that his injury was the result of a policy or custom of the local government to obtain an injunction or a declaratory judgment. (Kagan, J., recused).
Connick v. Thompson, No. 09-571 [Arg: 10.06.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.29.2011]

Holding: A district attorney's office cannot be held liable under Section 1983 for a failure to train its prosecutors based on a single Brady violation.
Snyder v. Phelps, No. 09-751 [Arg: 10.06.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.2.2011]

Holding: The First Amendment protects those who stage a peaceful protest on a matter of public concern near the funeral of a military service member from tort liability.
Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, No. 09-152 [Arg: 10.12.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 02.22.2011]

Holding: The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which created a no-fault program to provide compensation for vaccine-related injuries, preempts all design-defect claims against vaccine manufacturers by individuals seeking compensation for injury or death. (Kagan, J., recused.)
Harrington v. Richter, No. 09-587 [Arg: 10.12.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 1.19.2011]

Holding: The defense lawyer was not deficient in failing to consult blood evidence when planning strategy for trial. (Kagan, J., recused).
Premo v. Moore, No. 09-658 [Arg: 10.12.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 1.19.2011]

Holding: The defense counsel was not ineffective and the habeas petitioner was not in any event prejudiced by his counsel's actions. (Kagan, J., recused).
Skinner v. Switzer, No. 09-9000 [Arg: 10.13.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 03.07.2011]

Holding: Federal courts have subject matter jurisdiction over civil rights lawsuits, filed under Section 1983, that seek access to DNA evidence to challenge a state conviction.
Kasten v. Saint-Gobain, No. 09-834 [Arg: 10.13.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.22.2011]

Holding: For purposes of the anti-retaliation provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the term filed any complaint includes both oral and written complaints. (Kagan, J., recused).

November Sitting

Ortiz v. Jordan, No. 09-737 [Arg: 11.01.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 1.24.2011]

Holding: A party in a federal civil case may not appeal a denial of a motion for summary judgment after a District Court has conducted a full trial on the merits.
U.S. v. Tohono O'odham Nation, No. 09-846 [Arg: 11.01.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 4.26.2011]

Holding: Two suits making the same claim are barred from the Court of Federal Claims if they are based on substantially the same operative facts, regardless of the relief each seeks.(Kagan, J., recused).
Sossamon v. Texas, No. 08-1438 [Arg: 11.02.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 4.20.2011]

Holding: When they accept federal funding, states do not consent to waive their sovereign immunity to private lawsuits for money damages under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. (Kagan, J., recused).
Staub v. Proctor Hospital, No. 09-400 [Arg: 11.02.2010 Trans.; Decided 03.01.2011]

Holding: If a supervisor performs an act motivated by bias against the military that the supervisor intends to cause an adverse employment action, and if that act is the proximate cause of the ultimate employment action, then the employer can be held liable under a federal statute that prohibits employment discrimination against members of the armed services. (Kagan, J., recused).
Brown v. Ent. Merch., No. 08-1448 [Arg: 11.02.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.27.2011]

Holding: California's ban on the sale or rental of violent video games to minors is unconstitutional.
Williamson v. Mazda Motor, No. 08-1314 [Arg: 11.03.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 02.23.2011]

Holding: State tort suits alleging that car manufacturers should have installed lap-and-shoulder belts, rather than simply lap belts, on rear inner seats are not preempted by federal auto safety standards. (Kagan, J., recused).
AZ Christian Sch. Tuition Org. v. Winn, No. 09-987 [Arg: 11.03.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 4.4.2011]

Holding: The challengers to an Arizona tax credit which provides tax credits for contributions to tuition organizations, which then use the contributions to provide scholarships for, among others, religious schools, lack standing under Article III because they are challenging a tax credit, rather than government spending.
Mayo Foundation v. U.S., No. 09-837 [Arg: 11.08.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 01.11.2011]

Holding: The Treasury Department's rule that treats medical residents as full-time employees, and therefore not exempt from the payment of payroll taxes, is a valid interpretation of federal law
Costco v. Omega, No. 08-1423 [Arg: 11.08.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 12.13.2010]

Holding: An equally divided Court affirmed the Ninth Circuit's holding that the first sale doctrine applies only to copyrighted items that are made and distributed in the United States. (Kagan, J. recused).
AT&T v. Concepcion, No. 09-893 [Arg: 11.09.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 4.27.2011]

Holding: California state contract law, which deems class-action waivers in arbitration agreements unenforceable when certain criteria are met, is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act because it stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress.
Cullen v. Pinholster, No. 09-1088 [Arg: 11.09.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 4.4.2011]

Holding: Review under the federal habeas law is limited to the record that was before the state court which ruled on the claim on the merits. Moreover, on the record that was before the state court, Pinholster was not entitled to federal habeas relief.
CSX Transportation v. Alabama, No. 09-520 [Arg: 11.10.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 02.22.2011]

Holding: The railroad can challenge Alabama's sales and use taxes, which are imposed on railroads but not their main competitors, as discriminatory under the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976.
Flores-Villar v. U.S., No. 09-5801 [Arg: 11.10.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.13.2011]

Holding: An equally divided Court affirmed the decision of the Ninth Circuit upholding, against a constitutional challenge, a citizenship-transmission statute that imposes different standards for children born out of wedlock outside of the United States depending on whether the child's mother or father is a U.S. citizen. (Kagan, J., recused).

December Sitting

Walker v. Martin, No. 09-996 [Arg: 11.29.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 02.23.2011]

Holding: A California rule requiring state habeas petitions to be filed as promptly as the circumstances allow constitutes an independent state ground that is adequate to bar habeas relief in federal court.
Wall v. Kholi, No. 09-868 [Arg: 11.29.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 03.07.2011]

Holding: Because the phrase "collateral review" in AEDPA means judicial review of a judgment in a proceeding that is not part of direct review, state proceedings on an inmate's motion to reduce his sentence tolled the time to file his federal habeas petition.
Brown v. Plata, No. 09-1233 [Arg: 11.30.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.23.2011]

Holding: 1)The court below did not err in concluding that overcrowding in California prisons was the primary cause of the continuing violations of prisoners constitutional rights to adequate health care. 2) The evidence supported the conclusion of the three-judge panel that a population limit was necessary to remedy the overcrowding problem. 3) The relief ordered by the three-judge court the population limit was narrowly drawn, extended no further than necessary to correct the violation, and was the least intrusive means necessary to correct the violation.
CIGNA v. Amara, No. 09-804 [Arg: 11.30.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.16.2011]

Holding: Although the district court did not have authority under Section 502(a)(1)(B) of ERISA to reform CIGNA's pension plan, it did have authority to do so under another provision, Section 502(a)(3). (Sotomayor, J., recused).
Milner v. Dept. of the Navy, No. 09-1163 [Arg: 12.01.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 03.07.2011]

Holding: Maps describing the location of explosives do not qualify for withholding under Exemption 2 of the Freedom of Information Act, which shields from disclosure only records that relate to employee relations and human resources issues.
Virginia Office v. Stewart, No. 09-529 [Arg: 12.01.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 04.19.2011]

Holding: Ex Parte Young allows a federal court to hear a lawsuit for prospective relief against state officials brought by another agency of the same state. (Kagan, J., recused).
Henderson v. Shinseki, No. 09-1036 [Arg: 12.06.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 03.01.2011]

Holding: The deadline for filing a notice of appeal with the Veterans Court does not have jurisdictional consequences, and Congress did not require the 120-day deadline to be treated as jurisdictional. (Kagan, J., recused).
Pepper v. U.S., No. 09-6822 [Arg: 12.06.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.2.2011]

Holding: When a defendant's sentence has been set aside on appeal, a district court at re-sentencing may consider evidence of the defendant's rehabilitation after the initial sentences and that evidence may in appropriate cases, support a downward variance from the sentencing guidelines. (Kagan, J., recused).
Thompson v. N. Am. Stainless, No. 09-291 [Arg: 12.07.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 1.24.2011]

Holding: Title VII's ban on workplace retaliation against an employee who challenges discrimination also protects a co-worker who is a relative or close associate of the targeted employee. (Kagan, J., recused.)
Janus Capital v. 1st Deriv. Trdrs, No. 09-525 [Arg: 12.07.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.13.2011]

Holding: Because the petitioner, a mutual fund investment adviser, did not make the false statements included in the mutual fund prospectuses of its clients, it cannot be held liable in a private action under SEC Rule 10b5, which prohibits mak[ing] any untrue statement of fact in connection with the purchase or sale of securities, for its role in preparing those prospectuses.
Chase Bank v. McCoy, No. 09-329 [Arg: 12.08.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 1.24.2011]

Holding: The Federal Reserve Board's Regulation Z, in the version that existed before August 2009, did not require credit card issuers to give cardholders advance notice any time they raise the interest rate for default.
Chamber of Com. v. Whiting, No. 09-115 [Arg: 12.08.2010 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.26.2011]

Holding: The provision of the Legal Arizona Workers Act that provides for the suspension and/or revocation of the business licenses of Arizona employers who knowingly or intentionally employ unauthorized aliens is not expressly preempted by the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act, which prohibits the knowing hiring of unauthorized immigrants and preempts state laws imposing sanctions on those who hire unauthorized immigrants; the Arizona law falls within the IRCA's exception that preserves state authority to impose sanctions through licensing and similar laws. Nor is Arizona's requirement that employers use the federal E-Verify system to confirm eligibility for employment not impliedly preempted, as it does not conflict with the federal scheme, and the federal statute establishing E-Verify does not constrain state action. (Kagan, J., recused).

January Sitting

Matrixx Initiatives v. Siracusano, No. 09-1156 [Arg: 01.10.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.22.2011]

Holding: The plaintiffs have stated a claim for securities fraud under § 10(b) of the Securities and Exchange Act and SEC Rule 10b-5 based on a pharmaceutical company's failure to disclose reports of adverse events associated with a product, even if the reports do not disclose a statistically significant number of adverse events.
MT v. WY and N.D., No. 137 Original [Arg: 01.10.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.2.2011]

Holding: Original; Montana has failed to state a claim for breach of the Yellowstone River Compact. Wyoming's more efficient irrigation systems are permissible under the Compact as long as the water conserved by those systems is used to irrigate the same acreage watered in 1950. (Kagan, J., recused).
Goodyear Lux. Tires, SA v. Brown, No. 10-76 [Arg: 01.11.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.27.2011]

Holding: Goodyear's foreign subsidiaries were not amenable to suit in North Carolina on claims that were unrelated to any activity by them in that state.
J. McIntyre Machinery v. Nicastro, No. 09-1343 [Arg: 01.11.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.27.2011]

Holding: A court may not exercise jurisdiction over a defendant that has not purposefully availed itself of doing business in the jurisdiction or placed goods in the stream of commerce in the expectation they would be purchased in the jurisdiction.
Kentucky v. King, No. 09-1272 [Arg: 01.12.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.16.2011]

Holding: The exigent circumstances rule applies when the police do not create the exigency by engaging in or threatening to engage in conduct that violates the Fourth Amendment.
Sykes v. U.S., No. 09-11311 [Arg: 01.12.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.9.2011]

Holding: Using a vehicle while knowingly or intentionally fleeing from a law enforcement officer after being ordered to stop constitutes a violent felony, as proscribed by Indiana law, for purposes of the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e).
The Boeing Company v. U.S., No. 09-1302 [Arg: 01.18.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.23.2011]

Holding: When a court dismisses a contractor's prima facie valid affirmative defense to the government's allegations of breach of contract to protect state secrets, a proper remedy is to leave the parties where they were on the day they filed suit.
Smith v. Bayer Corp., No. 09-1205 [Arg: 01.18.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.16.2011]

Holding: A federal district court exceeded its authority under the core litigation exception of the Anti-Injunction Act when it enjoined a state court from considering a request for class certification; the district court's denial of a similar class-certification request by a different plaintiff did not preclude other plaintiffs from proceeding in state court when it is unclear whether the certification issues in the same court were the same and the state plaintiffs were neither a party to the federal suit nor covered by any exceptions to the rule against nonparty preclusion.
Stern v. Marshall, No. 10-179 [Arg: 01.18.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.23.2011]

Holding: The bankruptcy court had the statutory authority to issue a final and binding decision on a claim based exclusively on a right assured by state law. However, the bankruptcy court nonetheless lacked the constitutional authority to do so.
General Dynamics Corp. v. US, No. 09-1298 [Arg: 01.18.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.23.2011]

Holding: When a court dismisses a contractor's prima facie valid affirmative defense to the government's allegations of breach of contract to protect state secrets, a proper remedy is to leave the parties where they were on the day they filed suit
FCC v. AT&T, No. 09-1279 [Arg: 01.19.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 03.01.2011]

Holding: Corporations do not have a right of personal privacy for purposes of Exemption 7(C) of the Freedom of Information Act, which protects from disclosure law enforcement records whose disclosure could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. (Kagan, J., recused).
Astra USA v. Santa Clara County, No. 09-1273 [Arg: 01.19.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.29.2011]

Holding: Public hospitals and community health centers may not bring lawsuits against drug manufacturers alleging that they have been overcharged for the drugs purchased from the manufacturers pursuant to a federal program. (Kagan, J., recused).

February Sitting

Bond v. U.S., No. 09-1227 [Arg: 02.22.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.16.2011]

Holding: A criminal defendant who is indicted on charges that she violated a federal statute has standing to challenge the validity of the statute on the ground that it infringes on the powers reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment.
U.S. v. Tinklenberg, No. 09-1498 [Arg: 02.22.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.26.2011]

Holding: For purposes of the Speedy Trial Act, which excludes delay resulting from any pretrial motion from the Act's requirement that a trial begin within seventy days of the arraignment, there is no requirement that the filing of a pretrial motion actually cause, or be expected to cause, a delay of the trial. Instead, the Speedy Trial clock stops running whenever a pretrial motion is filed, regardless whether the motion has any effect on when the trial begins. (Kagan, J., recused).
Madison Cty. v. Oneida Nation, No. 10-72 [Arg: 02.23.2011; Decided 01.10.2010]

Holding: Vacated and remanded to the Second Circuit with instructions to reconsider its decision on sovereign immunity in light of a change in tribal laws. (per curiam)
Freeman v. U.S., No. 09-10245 [Arg: 02.23.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.23.2011]

Holding: When, pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(C), a defendant enters into a plea agreement that recommends a particular sentence as a condition of a guilty plea, he may be eligible for a sentence reduction if the U.S. Sentencing Commission later lowers the sentencing range.
Global-Tech Apps. v. SEB S.A., No. 10-6 [Arg: 02.23.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.31.2011]

Holding: (1) Induced infringement under 35 U.S.C. §#271(b) requires knowledge that the induced acts constitute patent infringement; and (2) deliberate indifference to a known risk that a patent exists does not satisfy the knowledge required by Section 271(b).
DePierre v. U.S., No. 09-1533 [Arg: 02.28.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.9.2011]

Holding: For purposes of a statute establishing mandatory minimum sentences for certain offenses involving cocaine base, the term cocaine base includes all cocaine in its chemically basic form, not just crack cocaine.
B.T. Leland Stanford Jr. Univ. v. Roche, No. 09-1159 [Arg: 02.28.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.06.2011]

Holding: The Bayh-Dole Act does not automatically vest title to federally funded inventions in federal contractors or authorize contractors to unilaterally take title to such inventions.

March Sitting

Alford v. Greene, No. 09-1478 [Arg: 03.01.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.26.2011]

Holding: Although the Court may generally review a lower court's constitutional ruling at the behest of governmental officials who won a final judgment on constitutional grounds, here the case is moot because the respondent (the plaintiff below) no longer has a stake in preserving the court's holding because she no longer needs protection from the practice at issue.
Camreta v. Greene, No. 09-1454 [Arg: 03.01.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.26.2011]

Holding: Although the Court may generally review a lower court's constitutional ruling at the behest of governmental officials who won a final judgment on constitutional grounds, here the case is moot because the respondent (the plaintiff below) no longer has a stake in preserving the court's holding because she no longer needs protection from the practice at issue.
Schindler Elvtr Corp. v. US ex rel. Kirk, No. 10-188 [Arg: 03.01.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.16.2011]

Holding: A federal agency's written response to a FOIA request for records is a "report" within the meaning of the disclosure bar of the False Claims Act. (Kagan, J., recused).
Bullcoming v. New Mexico, No. 09-10876 [Arg: 03.02.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.23.2011]

Holding: The Confrontation Clause does not permit the prosecution to introduce a forensic lab report containing a testimonial certification through the in-court testimony of an analyst who did not sign the document or personally observe the test. If an out-of-court statement is testimonial, it may not be introduced against the accused at trial unless the witness who made the statement is unavailable and the accused has had a prior opportunity to confront that witness.
Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, No. 10-98 [Arg: 03.02.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.31.2011]

Holding: (1) The objectively reasonable arrest and detention of a material witness pursuant to a validly obtained warrant cannot be challenged as unconstitutional on the ground that the arresting authority allegedly had an improper motive; and (2) because former Attorney General Ashcroft did not violate clearly established law, he is entitled to qualified immunity. (Kagan, J., recused).
Tolentino v. New York, No. 09-11556 [Arg: 03.21.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.29.2011]

Holding: The Court dismissed the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted and therefore did not decide whether pre-existing identity-related governmental documents are subject to the exclusionary rule when they are obtained as the direct result of police action violative of the Fourth Amendment.
Davis v. U.S., No. 09-11328 [Arg: 03.21.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.16.2011]

Holding: Searches conducted in objectively reasonable reliance on binding decisions of the courts of appeals are not subject to the exclusionary rule.
Fox v. Vice, No. 10-114 [Arg: 03.22.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.06.2011]

Holding: When there are both frivolous and non-frivolous claims in a plaintiff's civil rights suit, a court may grant reasonable attorney's fees to the defendant, but only for costs that the defendant would not have incurred but for the frivolous claims.
Borough of Duryea v. Guarnieri, No. 09-1476 [Arg: 03.22.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.20.2011]

Holding: A government employer's allegedly retaliatory actions against an employee do not give rise to liability under the First Amendment's Petition Clause unless the employee's petition relates to a matter of public concern.
J.D.B. v. North Carolina, No. 09-11121 [Arg: 03.23.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.16.2011]

Holding: A child's age is a relevant factor to consider in determining whether the child is in custody for purposes of Miranda v. Arizona.
Turner v. Rogers, No. 10-10 [Arg: 03.23.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.20.2011]

Holding: Although the petitioner has already served his sentence and alleges no collateral consequences will follow from the state's action against him the case is not moot because it is capable of repetition while evading review. Next, the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause does not automatically require the state to provide counsel at civil contempt proceedings to an indigent noncustodial parent who is subject to a child support order, even if that individual faces incarceration. In this case, however, the petitioner's incarceration violated due process because he received neither counsel nor the benefit of alternative procedural safeguards that would reduce the risk of an erroneous deprivation of liberty.
AZ Free Ent. Club v. Bennett, No. 10-238 [Arg: 03.28.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.27.2011]

Holding: Arizona's matching funds scheme, which provides additional funds to a publicly funded candidate when expenditures by a privately financed candidate and independent groups exceed the funding initially allotted to the publicly financed candidate, substantially burdens political speech and is not sufficiently justified by a compelling interest to survive First Amendment scrutiny.
McComish v. Bennett, No. 10-239 [Arg: 03.28.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.27.2011]

Holding: Arizona’s matching funds scheme, which provides additional funds to a publicly funded candidate when expenditures by a privately financed candidate and independent groups exceed the funding initially allotted to the publicly financed candidate, substantially burdens political speech and is not sufficiently justified by a compelling interest to survive First Amendment scrutiny.
CSX Transportation v. McBride, No. 10-235 [Arg: 03.28.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.23.2011]

Holding: The Federal Employers Liability Act, which makes railroads liable for the injuries or deaths of their employees resulting in whole or in part from negligence, does not incorporate the proximate cause standards developed in non-statutory common-law tort cases; rather, a railroad causes or contributes to an employee's injury if the railroad's negligence plays any part in bringing about the injury.
Fowler v. U.S., No. 10-5443 [Arg: 03.29.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.26.2011]

Holding: To establish a violation of Section 1512(a)(1)(C), which makes it a crime to kill another person, with intent . . . to prevent the communication by any person to a [federal] law enforcement officer of information relating to the . . . possible commission of a Federal offense,the government must show that there was a reasonable likelihood that a relevant communication would have been made to a federal officer.
Wal-Mart v. Dukes, No. 10-277 [Arg: 03.29.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.20.2011]

Holding: The certification of the nationwide class of female employees was not consistent with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a), which requires the party seeking class certification to prove that the class has common questions of law or fact; moreover, the plaintiffs' claims for backpay were improperly certified under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2), because claims for monetary relief cannot be certified under that provision when the monetary relief is not incidental to the requested injunctive or declaratory relief.
Actavis Elizabeth, L.L.C. v. Mensing, No. 09-1039 [Arg: 03.30.2011 Trans.; Decided 6.23.2011]

Holding: Federal drug regulations applicable to generic drug manufacturers directly conflict with, and thus preempt, state-law tort claims alleging a failure to provide adequate warning labels.
Actavis v. Demahy, No. 09-1501 [Arg: 03.30.2011 Trans.; Decided 6.23.2011]

Holding: Federal drug regulations applicable to generic drug manufacturers directly conflict with, and thus preempt, state-law tort claims alleging a failure to provide adequate warning labels.
PLIVA v. Mensing, No. 09-993 [Arg: 03.30.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.23.2011]

Holding: Federal drug regulations applicable to generic drug manufacturers directly conflict with, and thus preempt, state-law tort claims alleging a failure to provide adequate warning labels.
Isiogu v. Michigan Bell Telephone Co., No. 10-329 [Arg: 03.30.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.9.2011]

Holding: Because the FCC has advanced a reasonable interpretation of its regulations i.e., that to satisfy its duty under §251(c)(2) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, a carrier must make its existing entrance facilities available to competitors at cost-based rates if the facilities are to be used for interconnection, the Court will defer to the FCC's views. (Kagan, J., recused.)
Talk America v. MI Bell Tel., No. 10-313 [Arg: 03.30.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.9.2011]

Holding: Because the FCC has advanced a reasonable interpretation of its regulations i.e., that to satisfy its duty under Section 251(c)(2) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, a carrier must make its existing entrance facilities available to competitors at cost-based rates if the facilities are to be used for interconnection the Court will defer to the FCC's views. (Kagan, J., recused).

April Sitting

Microsoft v. i4i Limited Partnership, No. 10-290 [Arg: 4.18.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.9.2011]

Holding: Section 282 of the Patent Act requires an invalidity defense to be proved by clear and convincing evidence. (Roberts, C.J., recused.)
Tapia v. U.S., No. 10-5400 [Arg: 4.18.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.16.2011]

Holding: 18 U.S.C. § 3582(a) does not permit a sentencing court to impose or lengthen a prison term to foster a defendant's rehabilitation.
Am. Elec. Power Co. v. Conn., No. 10-174 [Arg: 4.19.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.20.2011]

Holding: Holding: An equally divided Court affirmed the Second Circuit's exercise of jurisdiction; four members of the Court would hold that at least some plaintiffs have standing to bring the lawsuit. The Clean Air Act and the Environmental Protection Agency's implementation of the Act displace any federal common-law right to seek abatement of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel fired power plants. (Sotomayor, J., recused).
U.S. v. Jicarilla Apache N., No. 10-382 [Arg: 4.20.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.13.2011]

Holding: The fiduciary exception to the attorney-client privilege does not apply to the general trust relationship between the United States and the Native American tribes. (Kagan, J., recused.)
Erica John Fund v. Halliburton Co., No. 09-1403 [Arg: 4.25.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.06.2011]

Holding: Securities fraud plaintiffs need not prove loss causation to obtain class certification.
McNeill v. U.S., No. 10-5258 [Arg: 4.25.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.06.2011]

Holding: A federal sentencing court must determine whether an offense under state law is a serious drug offense by consulting the maximum term of imprisonment applicable to a defendant's prior state drug offense at the time of the defendant's conviction for that offense, rather than looking to state law at the time of the defendant's federal sentencing.
Sorrell v. IMS, No. 10-779 [Arg: 4.26.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.23.2011]

Holding: Vermont's Prescription Confidentiality Law, which absent the prescriber's consent prohibits the sale of prescriber-identifying information, as well as the disclosure or use of that information for marketing purposes, is subject to heightened judicial scrutiny because it imposes content- and speaker-based burdens on protected expression. Vermont's justifications for the prohibition cannot withstand such heightened scrutiny.
Nevada Comm. on Ethics v. Carrigan, No. 10-568 [Arg: 4.27.2011 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.13.2011]

Holding: The Nevada Ethics in Government Law, which prohibits a legislator who has a conflict of interest from both voting on a proposal and from advocating its passage or failure, is not unconstitutionally overbroad.

Decided without oral argument

U.S. v. Juvenile Male, No. 09-940 [ Decided 6.27.2011]

Holding: The Ninth Circuit lacked authority to hold that the requirements of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) violate the Constitution's Ex Post Facto Clause when applied to a juvenile who was adjudicated delinquent under the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act before SORNA's enactment. At the time of the Ninth Circuit's decision, respondent's challenge was moot because the district court's order of juvenile supervision had expired, and respondent was no longer subject to the sex-offender-registration provisions that he challenged on appeal.
Wilson v. Corcoran, No. 10-91 [ Decided 11.08.2010]

Holding: Federal habeas relief is available only to cure violations of a state defendant's rights under the federal law. As a result, the court of appeals erred in granting federal habeas relief to a state capital defendant simply because the federal court believed that the state courts had misapplied state law in sentencing the defendant to death.
Swarthout v. Cooke, No. 10-333 [ Decided 01.24.2011]

Holding: Whether a federal court may grant habeas corpus relief to a state prisoner based on its view that the state court erred in applying the state-law standard of evidentiary sufficiency governing state parole decisions.
Felkner v. Jackson, No. 10-797 [ Decided 03.21.2011]

Holding: The Ninth Circuit had no basis to award habeas relief to a state inmate alleging that prosecutors had peremptorily struck jurors at his trial on the basis of race.
Bobby v. Mitts, No. 10-1000 [ Decided 5.2.2011]

Holding: The jury instructions given at the penalty phase of Mitts's murder trial are not contrary to clearly established law for purposes of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act.
Term Snapshot
Awards