Category Archives: OT 2018

Oral Argument: Disability Benefits and Patents

To obtain Social Security disability benefits, an applicant must first establish that he has a disability. But he can be denied benefits if the Social Security Administration determines that there is work that he can do despite the disability. (See here for a more detailed explanation.) In Biestek v. Berryhill, argued on December 4, the … Continue reading Oral Argument: Disability Benefits and Patents

Oral Argument: State Tax of Federal Pensions & Securities Fraud

On December, the Court heard argument in Dawson v. Steager, which implicates a nearly-200-year-old case: McCulloch v. Maryland, as tax professor Daniel Hemel explains at SCOTUSblog.. In McCulloch, the Court, led by Chief Justice John Marshall, held that the state of Maryland could not tax the Bank of United States, at least as long as … Continue reading Oral Argument: State Tax of Federal Pensions & Securities Fraud

Oral Argument: The First Amendment, Retaliatory Arrest, and Probable Cause

What happens if police officers arrest someone because the officers don’t like the arrestee’s speech — but the officers also have probable cause. Can the arrestee sue for retaliatory arrest in violation of the First Amendment? This was the question in Nieves v. Bartlett, argued on November 26. The case began when two Alaska state … Continue reading Oral Argument: The First Amendment, Retaliatory Arrest, and Probable Cause

Oral Argument: Excessive Fines and the States

The Court heard arguments in Timbs v. Indiana on Wednesday November 28, 2018, in which the Court is being asked to decide whether the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause is incorporated against the States under the Fourteenth Amendment. Before discussing the case and arguments made by both sides, here is a quick primer on background … Continue reading Oral Argument: Excessive Fines and the States

Oral Argument in Apple v. Pepper: An Antitrust Challenge to the App Store

The oral argument in Apple, Inc. v. Pepper, included analogies of cell phone apps to fruits and vegetables. The case presents the question of whether consumers may sue Apple for antitrust damages for the prices they pay for apps. Those prices are set by third parties — the app developers — but the consumers allege … Continue reading Oral Argument in Apple v. Pepper: An Antitrust Challenge to the App Store

Opinion: The Dusky Gopher Frog Faces a Setback at the Court

The Supreme Court issued a unanimous 8-0 opinion in Weyerhaeuser Co. v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service, also known as the dusky gopher frog case. (Chief Justice Roberts, who wrote the opinion, began it with a brief exegesis about the frog, leading to some positive Twitter commentary on his writing style.) The Endangered Species … Continue reading Opinion: The Dusky Gopher Frog Faces a Setback at the Court

The Census Case Grant and Other Orders

On Friday November 16, 2018, the Court granted the petition for certiorari in In Re Department of Commerce, et al., a case in which they previously denied the request to delay a trial over a dispute about whether a question relating to citizenship status should be included on the 2020 census. As The Hill discusses, … Continue reading The Census Case Grant and Other Orders

DACA Filings and the Terms’s First Opinion

On Monday the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) made a rare request of the Supreme Court. The department filed a petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment in the case U.S. Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, which the Ninth U.S Circuit Court of Appeals is currently deciding. That court … Continue reading DACA Filings and the Terms’s First Opinion

November 13 Orders: Redistricting and Unsolicited Faxes

On November 13, 2018, the Court issued orders from its November 9th conference.  The justices added two new cases to their docket. Among the cases the Court announced it will hear is Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill, a challenge to the use of race in legislative redistricting. Based on the 2010 Census, the Virginia General … Continue reading November 13 Orders: Redistricting and Unsolicited Faxes

Procedural Requirements with Big Impacts: November 7 Oral Arguments

The Supreme Court heard arguments in Republic of Sudan v. Harrison on November 7, 2018, where it is being asked to resolve a circuit split on whether plaintiffs suing a foreign state under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) can serve the foreign state under 28 U.S.C. § 1608(a)(3) by mail to the foreign state’s … Continue reading Procedural Requirements with Big Impacts: November 7 Oral Arguments