Supreme Court of the United States

The United States Supreme Court is the highest court of the United States and is charged with interpreting federal law, including the United States Constitution. The Court's docket is largely discretionary... more +
The United States Supreme Court is the highest court of the United States and is charged with interpreting federal law, including the United States Constitution. The Court's docket is largely discretionary with only a limited number of cases granted review each term.  The Court is comprised of one chief justice and eight associate justices, who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate to hold lifetime positions. less -
News & Analysis as of

U.S. Supreme Court: Warrant Generally Required to Search Information on a Cell Phone, Even Incident to Arrest

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that police officers must generally secure a warrant before searching through the contents of a cell phone of a person they arrest. This decision will have important implications for...more

Benefits Litigation Update - Summer 2014

In this issue: - Recent Supreme Court Decisions Revise Rules for Stock Drop Cases - Hobby Lobby and the Questions Left Unanswered - Post-Amara Landscape Continues to Evolve - Supreme Court to...more

University of Texas’s Use of Race In Student Admissions Survives Another Legal Hurdle

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit decided this week that the University of Texas’s consideration of race as a factor among many factors for college and university admissions is legally permissible in Fisher v....more

Supreme Court Holds That The ACA Mandate To Include Group Health Coverage For Certain Contraceptives Violates The Religious...

On June 30, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that closely held, for-profit corporations may claim a religious exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) mandate of providing certain types of...more

Where are You, Congress? Alice v. CLS Bank and “The Case Against Patents”

A recent episode of NPR’s “Planet Money” was entitled “The Case Against Patents.” Several notable commentators in that episode questioned whether patents help or hinder innovation, whether history supports the benefits of a...more

The Supreme Court’s Decision in Harris v. Quinn May Change the Landscape of Labor Unions in America

On June 30, 2014, in the matter of Harris v. Quinn, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision holding that the First Amendment prohibits the collection of an agency fee from home health care providers who do not wish to join or...more

Securities Fraud Class Actions are Here to Stay, For Now

On June 23, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States rendered its opinion in Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, No. 13-317, 134 S. Ct. 2398 (2014), unanimously declining to overturn a 26-year-old precedent that...more

First Amendment Protects Public Employees Who Give Truthful, Sworn Testimony Outside The Scope Of Their Ordinary Job Duties From...

In Lane v. Franks, et al, Edward Lane was discharged as a program director at a state college after testifying in a criminal, public corruption case against an Alabama State Representative. Lane had previously discharged the...more

Hundreds of NLRB Decisions Nullified Because of Unconstitutional Recess Appointments

In NLRB v. Noel Canning, the Supreme Court held that President Obama’s appointments of three National Labor Relations Board members in January 2012 during a three day intra-session Senate recess were unconstitutional because...more

Federal Practice & Bankruptcy: SCOTUS on Bankruptcy: Jurisdiction and Inherited IRAs Clarified

In a rare burst of bankruptcy enthusiasm, the US Supreme Court in June issued two decisions on matters important to the administration of bankruptcy cases. In re Bellingham, decided June 9, addressed a seemingly...more

Fifth Circuit Issues Important Ruling on Affirmative Action in Higher Education

Earlier this week, in Fisher v. University of Texas, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the constitutionality of the undergraduate admissions program at the University of Texas at...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Tackle Questions Left Unanswered by Stern and Executive Benefits

As we noted last month, the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison, Case No. 12-1200, 573 U.S. ___ (2014), affirmed the constitutional authority of bankruptcy courts to issue...more

For-Profit Corporations Can Object to Federal Laws on Religious Grounds

The United Statutes Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision holds that for-profit closely held corporations can object, on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs, to the contraception mandate imposed by the Patient...more

U.S. Supreme Court Changes Fiduciary Rules for Retirement Plans with Employer Stock

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision affects fiduciaries of retirement plans that have investments in employer stock. In the decision, the Supreme Court held that a retirement plan fiduciary is not entitled to a presumption...more

Aereo Loses Battle with Broadcasters Over Online Television Programming

In a highly anticipated decision, the Supreme Court ruled on June 29, 2014 that Aereo Inc.’s online service that broadcasts television programming over the Internet infringed on the exclusive right of television broadcasters...more

Supreme Court Protects Whistleblowing Employees of Mutual Fund Adviser

Whistleblowing law continues to develop, with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision holding that, despite ambiguous statutory language, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 protects employees of private companies serving as...more

Four Myths of the Hobby Lobby Decision: Separating Fact from Fiction

Unless you have been living on another planet the past few weeks, you have probably heard that the United States Supreme Court rendered a decision in a case involving the arts and crafts store Hobby Lobby pertaining to...more

Abstract Ideas: The Patent Office’s First Take on Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International

The United States Patent Office periodically issues guidelines for Examiners, often in response to a recent court decision or new statute. These guidelines do not have the force of law, but nevertheless establish the specific...more

The Impact of the Supreme Court’s Recent Halliburton Decision on Securities Litigation

On June 23, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc. In Halliburton, the Court declined to overrule Basic v. Levinson, but rather imposed limitations on the...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - July 2014

Editor's Overview - The end of the U.S. Supreme Court's term brought two significant ERISA decisions. The first concerns the standard of review that courts apply when evaluating ERISA stock-drop claims. As discussed...more

Supreme Court Nixes Aereo TV, Holding That Internet Streaming of Broadcast TV to Subscribers Violates Copyright Law

On June 25, 2014, the United States Supreme Court decided ABC v. Aereo, one of the more important (and most closely watched) copyright cases of the digital era. The Court’s 6-3 decision that streaming-TV startup Aereo...more

Religious Institutions Update

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. that an existing contraceptive coverage mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act statute that applies to for-profit closely held corporations...more

Supreme Court Rejects “Presumption of Prudence” in ESOP Cases

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer regarding the availability of relief against fiduciaries of an employee stock ownership plan (“ESOP”) for alleged breaches of the...more

The Supreme Court's Noel Canning Decision and the NLRB's Response

Since the Supreme Court affirmed a decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on June 26, 2014, invalidating President Obama's appointment in January 2012 of three members to the National Labor Relations Board, the NLRB...more

DOL Proposes Rulemaking to Amend Definition of "Spouse" for FMLA

In 2013, the United States Supreme Court held, in U.S. v. Windsor, that the Defense of Marriage Act's limitation of "marriage" and "spouse" to heterosexual couples was unconstitutional. Thereafter, President Obama instructed...more

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