U.S. Supreme Court: June 2009 Archives
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June 2009 Archives

Cuomo v. Clearing House Ass'n., L.L.C., No. 08-453

In an action claiming that certain state fair-lending laws were preempted by the National Bank Act (NBA) and accompanying regulations, an injunction in favor of Plaintiffs is affirmed in part, where the state's threatened issuance of executive subpoenas was an improper exercise of "supervisory power". However, the judgment is reversed in part where a federal regulation purporting to pre-empt state law enforcement is not a reasonable interpretation of the NBA.

Read Cuomo v. Clearing House Ass'n., L.L.C., No. 08-453

Appellate Information

Argued April 28, 2009

Decided June 29, 2009

Judges

Justice Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court.

Justice Thomas, concurring in part and dissenting in part.

Counsel

Attorneys for Petitioner:

Barbara D. Underwood, Counsel of Record, Office of the Attorney General, New York, NY 

Attorneys for Respondents:  

Seth P. Waxman, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Washington, DC

Elena Kagan, Solicitor General,  United States Department of Justice, Washington, DC

Robinson B. Lacy, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, 125 Broad Street, New York, NY

Ricci v. DeStefano, No. 07-1428

In a Title VII action claiming that a city discriminated against white firefighter candidates for a promotion by discarding their test results based on a statistical racial disparity, summary judgment for Defendants is reversed where the city's action in discarding the tests violated Title VII, because a threshold showing of a significant statistical disparity is far from a strong basis in evidence that the city would have been liable under Title VII had it certified the test results.

Read Ricci v. DeStefano, No. 07-1428

Appellate Information

Argued April 22, 2009

Decided June 29, 2009

Judges

Justice Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Court.

Justice Scalia, concurring.

Justice Alito, concurring.

Justice Ginsburg, dissenting.

Counsel

For Petitioners:

Karen Lee Torre, Law Offices of Norman A. Pattis LLC, New Haven, CT

For Respondents:  

Christopher J. Meade, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Washington, DC

Richard A. Roberts, Nuzzo & Roberts, L.L.C., One Town Center, Cheshire, CT

Melendez-Diaz v. Mass., No. 07-591

Defendant's drug conviction is reversed, where the trial court's admission of the prosecution's certificates by laboratory analysts, stating that material seized by police and connected to Defendant was cocaine of a certain quantity, violated petitioner's Sixth Amendment right to confront the witnesses against him.

Read Melendez-Diaz v. Mass., No. 07-591

Appellate Information

Argued November 10, 2008

Decided June 25, 2009

Judges

Scalia, J. delivered the opinion of the Court.

Kennedy, J., filed a dissenting opinion.

Counsel

For Petitioner:

Jeffrey L. Fisher, Stanford Law School, Stanford, CA

For Respondent:  

James J. Arguin, Assistant Attorney General, Boston, MA

Martha Coakley, Attorney General, Boston, MA

Susanne G. Reardon, Office of the Attorney General, Boston, MA

Safford Unified Sch. Dist. No. 1. v. Redding

In a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action alleging an unlawful search of a student, the denial of summary judgment based on qualified immunity is affirmed where the search of Plaintiff's underwear violated the Fourth Amendment because the facts did not give school officials reasonable suspicion to search her underwear.

Read Safford Unified Sch. Dist. No. 1. v. Redding

Appellate Information

Argued April 21, 2009

Decided June 25, 2009

Judges

Souter, J., delivered the opinion of the Court.

Stevens, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part

Ginsburg, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.

Thomas, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment in part and dissenting in part.

Counsel

For Petitioner:

Matthew W. Wright, Holm Wright Hyde & Hays PLC, Phoenix, AZ

For Respondent:

Adam B. Wolf, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, Santa Cruz, CA

Atlantic Sounding Co., Inc. v. Townsend, No. 08-214

In an action based on Defendant's alleged refusal to pay maintenance and cure to Plaintiff for injuries he suffered while working on Defendant's tugboat, the District Court's order holding that punitive damages were available is affirmed where punitive damages for the willful and wanton disregard of the maintenance and cure obligation remain available as a matter of general maritime law.

Read Atlantic Sounding Co., Inc. v. Townsend, No. 08-214

Appellate Information

Argued March 2, 2009

Decided June 25, 2009

Justices

Thomas, J., delivered the opinion of the Court.

Alito, J., filed a dissenting opinion.

Counsel

David W. McCreadie, Lau Lane Pieper Conley & McCreadie, P.A., Tampa, FL

G.J. Rod Sullivan, Jacksonville, FL

Horne v. Flores, No. 08-289

In a motion by state legislators to purge the District Court's contempt order holding that the state was providing inadequate English Language-Learner instruction in the school district at issue, the denial of the motion is reversed, where the lower courts did not engage in the proper analysis under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(5), because they did not analyze whether changed circumstances warranted reexamination of the original judgment.

Read Horne v. Flores, No. 08-289

Appellate Information

Argued April 20, 2009

Decided June 25, 2009

Justices

Alito, J., delivered the opinion of the Court.

Breyer, J., delivered a dissenting opinion.

Counsel

For Petitioner:

Eric J. Bistrow, Burch & Cracchiolo, P.A., Phoenix, AZ

Kenneth W. Starr, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Los Angeles, CA

Respondents:

Kimberly Anne Demarchi, Lewis & Roca LLP, Phoenix, AZ

Sri Srinivasan, O'Melveny & Meyers LLP, Washington, DC

Timothy M. Hogan, Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest, Phoenix, AZ

Northwest Austin Mun. Utility Dist. No. 1. v. Holder, No. 08-322

In an action seeking relief under the "bailout" provision in Section 4(a) of the Voting Rights Act, which allows a "political subdivision" to be released from the preclearance requirements if certain conditions are met, the dismissal of the complaint is reversed where the Act must be interpreted to permit all political subdivisions, including Plaintiff district, to seek to bail out from the preclearance requirements.

Read Northwest Austin Mun. Utility Dist. No. 1. v. Holder, No. 08-322

Appellate Information

Certiorari to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia

Argued April 29, 2009

Decided June 22, 2009

Judges

Chief Justice Roberts delivered the opinion of the Court.

Justice Thomas, concurring in the judgment in part and dissenting in part.

Counsel

Attorneys for Appellant:

Gregory S. Coleman, Yetter, Warden & Coleman L.L.P., Austin, TX

Attorneys for Appellees:  

Debo P. Adegbile, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, New York, NY

Renea Hicks, Law Office of Max Renea Hicks, Austin, TX

Elena Kagan, United States Department of Justice, Washington, DC 

Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General, Washington, DC
   
Paul R.Q. Wolfson, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Washington, DC

Nina Perales, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, San Antonio, TX

Forest Grove Sch. Dist. v. T.A., No. 08-305

Summary

In an action challenging a hearing officer's order reimbursing fees paid by Plaintiff's parents for his special education program under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), the award is affirmed, where IDEA authorizes reimbursement for private special-education services when a public school fails to provide a free appropriate public education and the private-school placement is appropriate, regardless of whether the child previously received special-education services through the public school.

Read Forest Grove Sch. Dist. v. T.A., No. 08-305

Appellate Information

Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Argued April 28, 2009

Decided June 22, 2009

Judges

Justice Stevens delivered the opinion of the Court.

Justice Souter, dissenting.

Counsel

For Petitioner: 

Gary Feinerman, Sidley Austin LLP, Chicago, IL

For Respondent:

David B. Salmons, Bingham McCutchen LLP, Washington, DC

Mary E. Broadhurst, Eugene, OR

Bonnie I. Robin-Vergeer, Public Citizen Litigation Group, Washington, DC

In an action against the Army Corps of Engineers challenging the Corps' grant of a permit to a mining company to discharge waste materials, summary judgment for Defendant is affirmed where the Corps, not the EPA, had the authority to permit the discharge, and the Corps' interpretation of Clean Water Act regulations was entitled to deference.

Read Coeur Alaska, Inc. v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, No. 07-984.

Appellate Information

Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Argued January 12, 2009'
Decided June 22, 2009


Judges

Justice Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Court.
Justice Breyer, concurring.
Justice Scalia, concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.
Justice Ginsburg, with whom Justice Stevens and Justice Souter join, dissenting.

Counsel

For Petitioner: Jonathan S. Franklin, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.., Washington, DC. Theodore B. Olson, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Washington, DC

For Respondent: Elena Kagan, United States Dept. of Justice, Washington, DC. David C. Crosby, David C. Crosby, P.C., Juneau, AK. Thomas S. Waldo, Earthjustice, Juneau, AK

Gross v. FBL Fin. Servs., Inc., No. 08-441

In an Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) action claiming a wrongful demotion, judgment for Plaintiff is reversed where a plaintiff bringing an ADEA disparate-treatment claim must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that age was the "but-for" cause of the challenged adverse employment action.

Read the full decision in Gross v. FBL Fin. Servs., Inc., No. 08-441.

See the case docket.

Appellate Information:

On writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
Argued on March 31, 2009
Decided on June 18, 2009

Judges:

Thomas, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Roberts, C. J., and Scalia, Kennedy, and Alito, JJ., joined.

Stevens, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ., joined.

Breyer, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Souter and Ginsburg, JJ., joined.

Counsel:

For Petitioner - Eric Schnapper, University of Washington School of Law, Seattle, WA

For Respondent - Frank B. Harty, Nyemaster Goode P.C., Des Moines, IA

Yeager v. US, No. 08-67

In an appeal from the District Court's order denying an ex-Enron executive-defendant's motion to dismiss his wire fraud indictment on Double Jeopardy grounds, the order is reversed where an apparent inconsistency between a jury's verdict of acquittal on some counts and its failure to return a verdict on other counts does not affect the acquittals' preclusive force under the Double Jeopardy Clause.

Read the full decision in Yeager v. US, No. 08-67.

See the case docket.

Appellate Information:

On writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Filed on June 18, 2009

Judges:

Stevens, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Roberts, C. J., and Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ., joined, and in which Kennedy, J., joined as to Parts I-III and V.

Kennedy, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.

Scalia, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Thomas and Alito, JJ., joined.

Alito, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Scalia and Thomas, JJ., joined.

Counsel:

For Petitioner - Samuel J. Buffone, Ropes & Gray LLP. Washington, DC.

For Respondent - Elena Kagan, Solicitor General, United States Department of Justice, Washington, DC.

In a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action seeking the evidence used to convict Defendant of sexual assault for the purposes of DNA testing, summary judgment for Plaintiff is reversed where, assuming Plaintiff's claims could be pursued using Section 1983, he had no constitutional right to obtain post-conviction access to the State's evidence for DNA testing.

Read the full decision in District Attorney's Office for the Third Judicial Circuit v. Osborne, No. 08-6.

See the case docket. 

Appellate Information:

On writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Filed on June 18, 2009

Judges:

Roberts, C. J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito, JJ., joined.

Alito, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which Kennedy, J., joined, and in which Thomas, J., joined as to Part II.

Stevens, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Ginsburg and Breyer, JJ., joined, and in which Souter, J., joined as to Part I. Souter, J., filed a dissenting opinion.

Counsel:

For Petitioner - Kenneth M. Rosenstein, Office of Special Prosecutions & Appeals, Anchorage, AK

For Respondent - Peter J. Neufeld, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York, NY.

Travelers Indemn. Co. v. Bailey, No. 08-295

In objections to a settlement of tort claims against the insurer of an asbestos manufacturer, the Court of Appeals' order sustaining the objections is reversed where the terms of a prior injunction issued in bankruptcy proceedings regarding the manufacturer barred direct actions against Defendant, and the finality of the Bankruptcy Court's orders generally stood in the way of challenging their enforceability.

Read the full decision in Travelers Indemn. Co. v. Bailey, No. 08-295.

See the case docket.

Appellate Information:

On writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Filed on June 18, 2009

Judges:

Souter, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Roberts, C. J., and Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Breyer, and Alito, JJ., joined.

Stevens, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Ginsburg, J., joined..

Counsel:

For Petitioner - Barry R. Ostrager, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, New York, NY.
For Respondent - Jacob C. Cohn, Philadelphia, PA.