List of United States Supreme Court cases by the Roberts Court

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This is a chronological list of cases decided by the United States Supreme Court during the tenure of Chief Justice John Roberts (September 29, 2005 to the present).

Decided cases[edit]

Decided and reported[edit]

The cases in this section have been decided and included in either a final bound edition of U.S. Reports or a nonbound preliminary print of the U.S. Reports. They are listed in order of the date on which they were decided.

Case name Citation Summary
Gonzales v. Oregon 546 U.S. 243 (2006) Attorney General did not permissibly construe Controlled Substances Act to prohibit the distribution of drugs for physician-assisted suicide
Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England 546 U.S. 320 (2006) Invalidating statute and lower courts rendering narrower declaratory and injunctive relief
Rice v. Collins 546 U.S. 333 (2006) Habeas corpus relief may not be granted on the basis of debatable inferences used to overturn the trial court's finding vis-á-vis peremptory challenges
Central Virginia Community College v. Katz 546 U.S. 356 (2006) state sovereign immunity under the 11th Amendment and the Bankruptcy Clause
Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal 546 U.S. 418 (2006) Federal government could not bar religious use of hallucinogenic tea
Buckeye Check Cashing, Inc. v. Cardegna 546 U.S. 440 (2006) Arbitrator must decide legality of contract unless arbitration clause is itself being challenged
Domino's Pizza, Inc. v. McDonald 546 U.S. 470 (2006) agent of a party to a contract cannot state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 because he himself does not have rights to make or enforce under the contract
Dolan v. United States Postal Service 546 U.S. 481 (2006) scope of immunity of the United States Postal Service under the Federal Tort Claims Act
Arbaugh v. Y & H Corporation 546 U.S. 500 (2006) "Employee-numerosity" requirement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is substantive, rather than jurisdictional in nature
Oregon v. Guzek 546 U.S. 517 (2006) States may constitutionally limit the evidence of innocence a defendant convicted of a capital offense may present at his sentencing hearing to the evidence already presented at his trial.
Texaco, Inc. v. Dagher 547 U.S. 1 (2006) joint venture was not a price-fixing scheme under antitrust law
Scheidler v. National Organization for Women 547 U.S. 9 (2006) physical violence unrelated to robbery or extortion falls outside the scope of the Hobbs Act
Illinois Tool Works, Inc. v. Independent Ink, Inc. 547 U.S. 28 (2006) patented products involved in product tying arrangements are not presumed to have market power under antitrust law
Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights 547 U.S. 47 (2006) law schools receiving federal funds may not ban military recruiters
United States v. Grubbs 547 U.S. 90 (2006) anticipatory search warrant did not violate the particularity clause of the 4th Amendment
Georgia v. Randolph 547 U.S. 103 (2006) police cannot conduct a warrantless search in a home where one occupant consents and the other objects
Day v. McDonough 547 U.S. 198 (2006) A State's unintentional failure to object to the filing of a habeas corpus petition after the statute of limitations has expired does not prevent a district court from dismissing the petition on its own initiative
Northern Ins. Co. of N.Y. v. Chatham County 547 U.S. 268 (2006) sovereign immunity does not apply to admiralty suit against county
Jones v. Flowers 547 U.S. 220 (2006) sufficiency of notice for tax sale
Hartman v. Moore 547 U.S. 250 (2006) A plaintiff in a retaliatory-prosecution action against federal officials must plead and show the absence of probable cause for pressing the underlying criminal charges.
Ark. Dep't of Human Servs. v. Ahlborn 547 U.S. 268 (2006) state liens on personal injury settlements
Marshall v. Marshall 547 U.S. 293 (2006) federal bankruptcy court binding state court on inheritance question
Holmes v. South Carolina 547 U.S. 319 (2006) limitations on exclusion of evidence in murder case, 6th Amendment
DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Cuno 547 U.S. 332 (2006) taxpayer standing in a Dormant Commerce Clause case
Sereboff v. Mid Atlantic Medical Services, Inc. 547 U.S. 356 (2006) fiduciary's recovery of personal injury settlement under ERISA
eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C. 547 U.S. 388 (2006) nature of patent injunctions - revisiting Continental Paper Bag Co. v. Eastern Paper Bag Co.
S. D. Warren Co. v. Maine Bd. of Env. Protection 547 U.S. 370 (2006) interpreting scope of activities covered by the Clean Water Act
Brigham City v. Stuart 547 U.S. 398 (2006) reasonableness of officers' warrantless entry into a home to stop a fight under the "emergency aid exception"
Garcetti v. Ceballos 547 U.S. 410 (2006) extent of public employees' First Amendment right to free speech in the workplace
Anza v. Ideal Steel Supply Corp. 547 U.S. 451 (2006) activities subject to RICO
Zedner v. United States 547 U.S. 489 (2006) a criminal defendant may not prospectively waive his rights under the Speedy Trial Act
House v. Bell 547 U.S. 518 (2006) Post-conviction DNA forensic evidence can be considered in death penalty appeals
Hill v. McDonough 547 U.S. 573 (2006) a challenge to lethal injection as violating the Eighth Amendment properly raised a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and is not barred by previous habeas corpus petition
Hudson v. Michigan 547 U.S. 586 (2006) evidence obtained with a search warrant is admissible even when police violate 'knock-and-announce' rule
Rapanos v. United States 547 U.S. 715 (2006) whether wetlands are part of the "navigable waters of the United States" and thus regulated by the Clean Water Act
Davis v. Washington 547 U.S. 813 (2006) whether a 911 call is "testimonial" under Crawford v. Washington
Samson v. California 547 U.S. 843 (2006) evidence obtained in a suspicionless search of parolees is admissible, and not prohibited under the Fourth Amendment
Dixon v. United States 548 U.S. 1 (2006) burden of proof for duress as a defense to Federal firearms law violations
Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. White 548 U.S. 53 (2006) a job reassignment which is dirtier and more strenuous may constitute retaliatory discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as may a month of suspension without pay even when the employee receives back pay
Woodford v. Ngo 548 U.S. 81 (2006) the Prison Litigation Reform Act requires proper exhaustion of administrative remedies before an inmate can file a lawsuit
United States v. Gonzalez-Lopez 548 U.S. 140 (2006) trial court's erroneous deprivation of a criminal defendant's choice of counsel entitles him to reversal of his conviction
Kansas v. Marsh 548 U.S. 163 (2006) statute allowing the death penalty in cases where the aggravating and mitigating evidence are equal does not violate the Eighth Amendment
Randall v. Sorrell 548 U.S. 230 (2006) campaign finance laws which limit expenditures violate the First Amendment, and the anticorruption benefits of contribution limits must be weighed against their First Amendment costs
Arlington Central School Dist. Bd. of Ed. v. Murphy 548 U.S. 291 (2006) The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act does not authorize the award of experts' fees to prevailing plaintiffs
Sanchez-Llamas v. Oregon 548 U.S. 331 (2006) informing a suspect of his rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry 548 U.S. 399 (2006) Texas's 2003 redistricting of District 23 constituted a violation of Latinos' rights under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, however mid-decade redistricting is constitutional as long as it is not solely motivated by partisan gain
Hamdan v. Rumsfeld 548 U.S. 557 (2006) Guantanamo Bay detainees may not be tried by a military commission under the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, and said military commission violates the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Conventions, both of which apply to the detainees, in that accused and their counsels may be excluded from their trial and knowing what evidence has been put against them
Clark v. Arizona 548 U.S. 735 (2006) constitutionality of Arizona's insanity defense statute

2006 term[edit]

Case name Citation Summary
Lopez v. Gonzales 549 U.S. 47 (2006) misdemeanor drug crimes as aggravated felonies
Carey v. Musladin 549 U.S. 70 (2006) spectator publicity and the right to a fair trial; "clearly established" law under the AEDPA
BP America Production Co. v. Burton 549 U.S. 84 (2007) Statute of limitations on contract actions by the Federal Government under 28 U.S.C. § 2415 is not applicable to administrative proceedings
Medimmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc. 549 U.S. 118 (2007) enforceability of patents before infringement
Cunningham v. California 549 U.S. 270 (2007) applicability of Blakely v. Washington to California's determinate sentencing law
Philip Morris USA v. Williams 549 U.S. 346 (2007) constitutional limitations on punitive damages
Marrama v. Citizens Bank of Massachusetts 549 U.S. 365 (2007) bad-faith exception to the right to convert Chapter 7 bankruptcy case to a Chapter 13 case
Sinochem International Co., Ltd. v. Malaysia International Shipping Corporation 549 U.S. 422 (2007) District Court may respond immediately to defendant's forum non conveniens motion before resolving jurisdictional or other threshold concerns
Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency 549 U.S. 497 (2007) power to regulate carbon dioxide emissions
Davenport v. Washington Education Association 550 U.S. 117 (2007) A state may require that its public-sector unions receive authorization from nonmembers before spending their agency fees for election-related purposes
Gonzales v. Carhart 550 U.S. 124 (2007) Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act
James v. United States 550 U.S. 192 (2007) attempted burglary as a predicate crime under the Armed Career Criminal Act
Scott v. Harris 550 U.S. 372 (2007) Fourth Amendment seizure in a high speed chase, qualified immunity
KSR v. Teleflex 550 U.S. 398 (2007) Patent law, nonobviousness
Microsoft v. AT&T 550 U.S. 437 (2007) copying software in a foreign country cannot violate U.S. patent law
Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 550 U.S. 618 (2007) statute of limitations on employment discrimination claims
Permanent Mission of India v. City of New York 551 U.S. 193 (2007) whether a municipality can sue other countries to collect unpaid taxes
Bowles v. Russell 551 U.S. 205 (2007) Federal Courts of Appeals lack jurisdiction to hear habeas appeals that are filed late, even if the district court said the petitioner had additional time to file
Brendlin v. California 551 U.S. 249 (2007) whether a passenger in an automobile is "detained" so that he may assert a Fourth Amendment violation stemming from the traffic stop itself
Credit Suisse v. Billing 551 U.S. 264 (2007) Whether Congress's creation of the SEC implicitly exempted regulated industries from antitrust lawsuits
Rita v. United States 551 U.S. 338 (2007) "reasonableness" of a federal prison sentence under United States v. Booker; continuing application of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines
Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd. 551 U.S. 308 (2007) The proper standard for determining whether a plaintiff has alleged a "strong inference" of scienter under the PSLRA
Morse v. Frederick 551 U.S. 393 (2007) free speech rights of high school students ("Bong Hits 4 Jesus")
CBOCS West v. Humphries 551 U.S. 442 (2008) race retaliation claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1981
Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc. 551 U.S. 449 (2007) Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act's restriction on issue ads in election campaigns
Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation 551 U.S. 587 (2007) taxpayer standing to pursue an Establishment Clause claim against President Bush's faith-based initiative
Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1

Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education (companion case)

551 U.S. 701 (2007) affirmative action; using race as a tie-breaker in assigning students to public schools
Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc. 551 U.S. 877 (2007) applying rule of reason under Section 1 of the Sherman Act
Panetti v. Quarterman 551 U.S. 930 (2007) executing the mentally ill

2007 term[edit]

Case name Citation Summary
Watson v. United States 552 U.S. 74 (2007) whether trading drugs for a gun constitutes use of a firearm under 18 U.S.C. § 924 and Bailey v. United States
Kimbrough v. United States 552 U.S. 85 (2007) whether the 100:1 ratio between powder and crack cocaine imposed by the United States Sentencing Commission yields "reasonable" sentences
Gall v. United States 552 U.S. 38 (2007) "reasonableness" of a federal prison sentence under United States v. Booker; continuing application of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines
Stoneridge Investment Partners v. Scientific-Atlanta 552 U.S. 147 (2008) third parties, such as investment banks, accounting firms and suppliers, can be shielded from liability if they engage in business with companies that are involved in securities fraud.
Ali v. Federal Bureau of Prisons 552 U.S. 214 (2008) Case upholding the United States's sovereign immunity against tort claims brought when "any law enforcement officer" loses a person's property.
Riegel v. Medtronic, Inc. 552 U.S. 312 (2008) Medical Device Amendment’s preemption clause bars common-law claims challenging the safety or effectiveness of a medical device marketed in a form that received premarket approval from the FDA.
Preston v. Ferrer 552 U.S. 346 (2008) the Federal Arbitration Act preempts state laws declaring that certain disputes must be resolved by a state administrative agency
Snyder v. Louisiana 552 U.S. 472 (2008) racial discrimination in jury selection; playing the "O.J. card"
Medellín v. Texas 552 U.S. 491 (2008) whether the president may direct state courts to obey an order of the World Court ruling regarding the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
New Jersey v. Delaware 552 U.S. 597 (2008) boundary dispute between New Jersey and Delaware involving the Twelve-Mile Circle
MeadWestvaco Corp. v. Illinois Dept. of Revenue 553 U.S. 16 (2008) determination of state tax liability for corporation operating in multiple states according to the "unitary business rule"
Baze v. Rees 553 U.S. 35 (2008) constitutionality of lethal injection protocols under the Eighth Amendment
Virginia v. Moore 553 U.S. 164 (2008) whether the Fourth Amendment requires suppression of evidence discovered in a search conducted in violation of state law
Crawford v. Marion County Election Board 553 U.S. 181 (2008) constitutionality of requiring voters to show ID before voting
Department of Revenue of Kentucky v. Davis 553 U.S. 328 (2008) Kentucky statute providing a preferential tax break to Kentucky residents who invest in bonds issued by the state and its municipalities does not discriminate against interstate commerce
United States v. Williams 553 U.S. 285 (2008) constitutionality of the PROTECT Act, a 2003 law intended to bolster federal restriction against child pornography, in the wake of Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition
Gomez-Perez v. Potter 553 U.S. 474 (2008) Federal employees who face retaliation after filing an age discrimination claim are authorized to sue under the federal-sector provision of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.
Quanta v. LG Electronics 553 U.S. 617 (2008) patent exhaustion and its applicability to certain types of method patents
Boumediene v. Bush 553 U.S. 723 (2008) whether the Military Detainee Treatment Act of 2006 unconstitutionally suspends the writ of habeas corpus
Allison Engine Co. v. United States ex rel. Sanders 553 U.S. 662 (2008) Plaintiffs under the False Claims Act must demonstrate that the defendants intended to deceive the government, not simply that government money was used to pay the claim.
Munaf v. Geren 553 U.S. 674 (2008) habeas corpus statute extends to American citizens held overseas by American forces operating subject to an American chain of command
Indiana v. Edwards 554 U.S. 164 (2008) may a criminal defendant be competent to stand trial yet simultaneously not competent to represent himself at that trial?
Greenlaw v. United States 554 U.S. 237 (2008) may a federal appeals court sua sponte increase a defendant's sentence on appeal, without a formal appeal by the government?
Rothgery v. Gillespie County 554 U.S. 191 (2008) does a criminal defendant have a right to counsel at an ex parte arraignment?
Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker 554 U.S. 471 (2008) legality of punitive damages award under federal maritime law for the Exxon Valdez oil spill
Kennedy v. Louisiana 554 U.S. 407 (2008) does the Eighth Amendment forbid the death penalty for rape of a child?
Giles v. California 554 U.S. 353 (2008) the forfeiture by wrongdoing exception to out of court statements by a witness only applies where the defendant caused the witness's absence in order to eliminate their testimony at trial
District of Columbia v. Heller 554 U.S. 570 (2008) does the Second Amendment allows a state or local government to outlaw the private possession of handguns?
Davis v. Federal Election Commission 554 U.S. 724 (2008) "Millionaire's amendment" to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 violates the First Amendment

2008 term[edit]

Case name Citation Summary
Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council 555 U.S. 7 (2008) military preparedness outweighs environmental concerns, as Navy needs to train its crews to detect modern, silent submarines
Altria Group, Inc. v. Good 555 U.S. 70 (2008) federal law does not preempt the states' prerogative to regulate the advertisement of tar and nicotine rates in cigarettes
Herring v. United States 555 U.S. 135 (2009) evidence obtained during a search the police conducted as a result of an isolated act of negligence not related to the search is not subject to the exclusionary rule
Oregon v. Ice 555 U.S. 160 (2009) the facts necessary for imposing consecutive prison terms need not be submitted to a jury in accordance with Apprendi v. New Jersey
Waddington v. Sarausad 555 U.S. 179 (2009) on federal habeas review, courts must accept state court determinations that jury instructions fully and correctly set out state law with regard to accomplice liability
Pearson v. Callahan 555 U.S. 223 (2009) Saucier v. Katz is overruled; courts need not determine whether a civil-rights plaintiff's constitutional rights were violated if they determine that the right was not clearly established at the time of the injury

Decided, but not yet reported[edit]

The cases listed in this section may be up to a year and a half old; however, they are not yet included in the U.S. Reports. They are listed in order of the date on which they were decided, and a link is included to the Supreme Court's opinion.

2008 term[edit]

Case name Opinion Decided Summary
Crawford v. Nashville 06-1595 2009-01-26 Employees who cooperate with an internal investigation of alleged sexual harassment are protected against retaliation under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Van de Kamp v. Goldstein 07-854 2009-01-26 Prosecutors are immune from suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for improperly supervising the disclosures made by line prosecutors pursuant to Brady v. Maryland.
United States v. Hayes 07-608 2009-02-24 Under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9), people who have been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes may not possess firearms as long as the government proves that the underlying offense involved a domestic relationship.
Pleasant Grove City v. Summum 07-665 2009-02-25 A municipality that allows a privately donated Ten Commandments monument to be displayed on public property need not permit the religion of Summum to put up its own statue of similar size.
Negusie v. Mukasey 07-499 2009-03-03 Under Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, the Board of Immigration Appeals (rather than a federal court) has the power to decide whether the so-called "persecutor bar" applies to asylum applicants applies to those who were forced to persecute others in their home country.
Wyeth v. Levine 06-1249 2009-03-04 Federal drug labeling requirements do not preempt state drug labeling requirements enacted to ensure that the public knew certain drugs are safe.
Fitzgerald v. Barnstable School Committee 07-1125 2009-03-04 The petitioner parents had the right to sue a school committee under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for failing to stop the sexual harassment their daughter endured. This decision reversed the Second Circuit's holding that Title IX provided the sole remedy the parents could seek.
14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett 07-581 2009-04-01 An employer and a union can agree, through a collective bargaining agreement, that the unionized employees must resolve discrimination claims in arbitration instead of court.
Harbison v. Bell 07-8521 2009-04-01 Under 18 U.S.C. § 3599, the federal government must provide lawyers to death row inmates seeking clemency in state proceedings.
Entergy v. Riverkeeper 07-588 2009-04-01 The Clean Water Act does not prevent the EPA from engaging in a cost-benefit analysis when setting standards for power plants that use large quantities of water for cooling.
Arizona v. Gant 07-542 2009-04-21 Police power to search an arrested person's vehicle is limited to safety concerns and evidence related to the actual arrest.
FCC v. Fox Television Stations 07-582 2009-04-28 The FCC may ban "fleeting expletives" on television broadcasts.
Cone v. Bell 07-1114 2009-04-28 The petitioner death row inmate had not forfeited the opportunity to argue that prosecutors withheld evidence important to his defense.
Dean v. United States 08-5274 2009-04-29 Upheld sentence for discharging a firearm during a violent crime, Congress intended a defendant to be held strictly liable for such an offense.
Flores-Figueroa v. United States 08-108 2009-05-04 whether the law enhancing the sentence for identity theft requires proof that an individual knew that the identity card or number he had used belonged to another, actual person
AT&T Corp. v. Hulteen 07-543 2009-05-18 The 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act is not retroactive, so maternity leave taken before it passed cannot be considered in calculating employee pension benefits.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal 07-1015 2009-05-18 whether top government officials can be held personally liable for allegedly knowing or condoning of racial and religious mistreatment of suspected terrorists
Caperton v. A. T. Massey Coal Co. 08-22 2009-06-08 Due process requirements for judges' recusal
United States ex rel. Eisenstein v. City of New York 08-660 2009-06-08 Where the Government has not intervened or actively participated, private plaintiffs under the False Claims Act must filed an appeal within 30 days of the judgment or order being appealed, according to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.
District Attorney's Office v. Osborne 08-6 2009-06-18 Found no due process, postconviction right to access to the state's evidence for DNA testing.
Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Mukasey 08-322 2009-06-22 whether Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which gives the U.S. government authority to oversee state electoral-law changes, is no longer needed and is unconstitutional
Safford Unified School District v. Redding 08-479 2009-06-25 Strip search of a middle schooler violated the Fourth Amendment where the school lacked reasons to suspect either that the drugs presented a danger or that they were concealed in her underwear.
Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts 07-591 2009-06-25 Under the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment, the prosecution (if it plans to present a lab report as evidence in a criminal trial) must make the analyst who prepared it available for on-demand cross-examination by defense counsel.
Ricci v. DeStefano 07-1428 2009-06-29 White firefighters in New Haven suffered unfair discrimination because of their race when the city scrapped the results of a promotional exam.

2009 term[edit]

Case name Opinion Decided Summary
Citizens United v. FEC 08-205 2010-01-21 whether federal campaign finance laws apply to a critical film about Senator Hillary Clinton intended to be shown in theaters and on-demand to cable subscribers
Padilla v. Kentucky 08-651 2010-03-31 must a criminal defendant's lawyer advise him of the immigration-related consequences of a criminal conviction?
Salazar v. Buono 08-472 2010-04-28 First Amendment restrictions on displaying a cross on public property
Reed Elsevier, Inc. v. Muchnick 08-103 2010-03-02 settlement of copyright infringement claims relating to an electronic database
Graham v. Florida 08-7412
2010-05-17 whether Roper v. Simmons should also apply to sentences of life without the possibility of parole
Ontario v. Quon 08-1332 2010-06-17 Privacy rights of public employees over text messages on employer-issued pagers.
McDonald v. Chicago 08-1521 2010-06-28 whether the Second Amendment should also apply against state and local governments

2010 term[edit]

Case name Opinion Decided Summary
Abbott v. United States 09-479 2010-11-15 Mandatory minimum sentences under federal sentencing law
Los Angeles County v. Humphries 09-350 2010-11-30 Section 1983 actions are limited to those caused by a municipality's "policy or custom" regardless of whether the plaintiff seeks monetary or prospective relief.
Premo, Superintendent, Oregon State Penitentiary v. Moore 09-658 2011-01-19 Habeas relief may not be granted with respect to any claim a state-court has found on the merits unless the state-court decision denying relief involves an "unreasonable application" of "clearly established federal law, as determined by" the Court.
Swarthout v. Cooke 10-333 2011-01-24 State prisoners have no constitutional right to parole.
Snyder v. Phelps 09-751 2011-03-02 The First Amendment protects from tort liability a person who speaks about a public issue on a public sidewalk, even if that speech is "outrageous."
Brown v. Plata 09-1233 2011-05-23 A three-judge panel of the District Court properly ordered the California prison system to release prisoners to resolve overcrowding.
Connick v. Thompson 09-571 2011-03-29 A prosecutor's office cannot be held liable for a single Brady violation by one of its members on the theory that the office provided inadequate training.
Williamson v. Mazda 08-1314 2011-02-23 A car accident victim can sue the manufacturer for failing to install a shoulder/lap seatbelt even where federal law permits it to install only a lap belt.
Arizona Christian School Tuition Org. v. Winn 09-987 2011-04-04 Taxpayers lack standing to challenge a tax credit program that provides dollar-for-dollar incentives to donations to school tuition groups, including those awarding tuition scholarships only to religious schools.
Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting 09-115 2011-05-26 An Arizona law that sanctions employers who hire illegal immigrants is not preempted by federal immigration law.
Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association 08-1448 2011-06-27 The Constitution prevents the state of California from banning the sale of violent video games to minors.
Bullcoming v. New Mexico 09-10876[dead link] 2011-06-23 A defendant's Confrontation Clause rights cover a non-testifying laboratory analyst whose supervisor testifies as to test results that the analyst transcribed from a machine.

2011 term[edit]

Case name Opinion Decided Summary
Cavazos v. Smith 10-1115 2011-10-31 A jury found that a grandmother was guilty of assaulting her 7-week-old grandchild, which the jury found had died of shaken baby syndrome. The Supreme Court held that the Ninth Circuit exceeded its authority under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) in reversing the verdict for insufficient evidence.
KPMG LLP v. Cocchi 10-1521 2011-11-07 Citing Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. v. Byrd, the Supreme Court remanded this case to a Florida appellate court for consideration of whether arbitration was required for some of the claims alleged.
Bobby v. Dixon 10-1540 2011-11-07 Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (28 U.S.C. § 2254) and Harrington v. Richter, the Sixth Circuit had erred in granting a state prisoner's petition for writ of habeas corpus. It was not clear the state court had erred at all, a prerequisite for granting a habeas petition.
Golan v. Holder 2012-01-18 Congress can restore copyright protection to works that were formerly in the public domain.
Southern Union Co. v. United States 11-94[dead link] 2012-06-21 The rule of Apprendi v. New Jersey applies to the imposition of criminal fines.

2012 term[edit]

Case name Opinion Decided Summary
Lefemine v. Wideman 12-168 2012-11-05 Under 42 U.S.C. § 1988, a plaintiff who obtained only a permanent injunction against government officials (but no money damages) was a "prevailing party," so the government must pay his attorney fees.
United States v. Bormes 11-192 2012-11-13 The Little Tucker Act does not waive the government’s sovereign immunity with respect to Fair Credit Reporting Act damages actions.
Nitro-Lift Technologies, LLC v. Howard 11-1377 2012-11-26 The Oklahoma Supreme Court was wrong in preventing arbitration of a dispute over the scope of noncompete agreements in employment contracts.
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission v. United States 11-597 2012-12-04 Repeated, temporary flooding caused by the government is not automatically exempt from the Takings Clause, so the case was remanded for the lower court to decide if the government has to pay owners for using their land.
Kloeckner v. Solis 11-184 2012-12-10 A federal employee who claims that an agency action appealable to the Merit Systems Protection Board violates an antidiscrimination statute listed in 5 U.S.C. § 7702(a)(1) should seek judicial review in district court, not the Federal Circuit, regardless whether the MSPB decided her case on procedural grounds or on the merits.
Ryan v. Valencia Gonzales

Tibbals v. Carter (companion case)

10-930 2013-01-08 The federal law at issue, 18 U.S.C. § 3599, does not provide a state prisoner with the right to suspend his federal habeas proceedings when he is adjudged incompetent.
Los Angeles County Flood Control Dist. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. 11-460 2013-01-08 The flow of water from an improved portion of a navigable waterway into an unimproved portion of the same waterway does not qualify as a “discharge of a pollutant” under the Clean Water Act.
Already, LLC v. Nike, Inc. 11-982 2013-01-09 Nike's irrevocable promise not to enforce its trademark against its competitor mooted the competitor's lawsuit to invalidate the trademark.
Smith v. United States (2013) 11-8976 2013-01-09 A defendant bears the burden of proving a defense of withdrawal from conspiracy.
Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, Florida 11-626 2013-01-15 Petitioner's floating home was not a "vessel" for purposes of 1 U.S.C. § 3, and therefore federal maritime jurisdiction was not triggered, because -- except for the fact that it floats -- nothing about it suggested that it was intended to transport people or things over water.
Sebelius v. Auburn Regional Medical Center 11-1231 2013-01-22 The 180-day statutory time limit for a hospital to appeal a final Medicare reimbursement is not "jurisdictional," but it is also not subject to equitable tolling.
Chafin v. Chafin 11-1347 2013-02-19 The return of a child to a foreign country pursuant to an order under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction does not render an appeal of that order moot; that is, the losing party can still appeal.
Bailey v. United States (2013) 11-770 2013-02-19 In Michigan v. Summers, the Supreme Court held that police officers executing a search warrant were allowed to detain people on the premises while they conducted the search. This case limits that to the "immediate vicinity" of the place being searched, so police searching a basement apartment couldn't search a man leaving from near the apartment in a car.
FTC v. Phoebe Putney Health System, Inc. 11-1160 2013-02-19 The state of Georgia was not immune from an antitrust lawsuit challenging the competition-reducing acquisitions of a state-owned hospital.
Florida v. Harris 11-817 2013-02-19 Because the police provided evidence showing the dog did well at training, a dog sniff provided probable cause for a search of a vehicle.
Gunn v. Minton 11-1118 2013-02-20 The federal law giving federal courts exclusive jurisdiction over patent cases, 28 U.S.C. § 1338(a), does not deprive state courts of the authority to hear a state law claim alleging legal malpractice in an underlying patent case.
Henderson v. United States 11-9307 2013-02-20 Regardless whether a legal question was settled or unsettled at the time of trial, an error is “plain” within the meaning of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 52(b) so long as the error was plain at the time of appellate review.
Johnson v. Williams 11-465 2013-02-20 Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, a federal court hearing a habeas petition from a state prisoner must presume that the state court decided the prisoner's federal claim on the merits, even if the state court did not expressly address that federal claim.
Evans v. Michigan 11-1327 2013-02-20 The Double Jeopardy Clause bars retrial following a court-directed acquittal, even if the acquittal was erroneous.
Chaidez v. United States 11-820 2013-02-20 The Court’s decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, holding that the Sixth Amendment requires defense attorneys to inform criminal defendants of the deportation risks of guilty pleas, does not apply retroactively to cases already final on direct review (that is, non-habeas appeals).
Marx v. General Revenue Corp. 11-1175 2013-02-26 Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1), a prevailing defendant in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act suit may be awarded costs even where the lawsuit was not brought in bad faith and for the purpose of harassment.
Clapper v. Amnesty International USA 11-1025 2013-02-26 Petitioners, a group of journalists and lawyers, did not have standing to challenge a federal law expanding the government's ability to engage in secret wiretapping because they could not prove they had been, or were about to be, wiretapped.
Gabelli v. SEC 11-1274 2013-02-27 The five-year statute of limitations for the SEC to bring a civil suit seeking penalties for securities fraud against investment advisers begins to tick when the fraud occurs, not when it is discovered.
Amgen Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds 11-1085 2013-02-27 In a private securities fraud class action, under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and an SEC rule, plaintiff class members do not need to prove that the fraud was "material" to their purchase of the securities.
Levin v. United States 11-1351 2013-03-04 The Gonzalez Act, 10 U.S.C. § 1089(e), waives some of the government's immunity, and so allowed a plaintiff to sue the United States for alleged medical battery inflicted by a Navy doctor during a cataracts surgery.
Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 11-697 2013-03-19 The first-sale doctrine applies to copyrighted works made lawfully overseas.
Standard Fire Ins. Co. v. Knowles 11-1450 2013-03-19 Class representative of plaintiff class cannot defeat federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act by stipulating that he will seek less than $5 million in damages. His stipulation does not bind the rest of the class.
Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center 11-338 2013-03-20 The Clean Water Act does not require a permit before channeled stormwater runoff from logging roads can be discharged into rivers and other bodies of water. Reversing the Ninth Circuit, the Court held that the lawsuit was not barred, but that the EPA's interpretation of its own regulation (not requiring permits) was entitled to deference.
Wos v. E.M.A. 12-98 2013-03-20 A part of the federal Medicaid statute known as the "anti-lien provision" preempted a North Carolina law. That state law had required Medicaid beneficiaries who received money from a tort judgment or settlement to give one-third of that money to the state to reimburse it for the free medical care it had provided to the person.
Florida v. Jardines 11-564 2013-03-26 A dog sniff at the front door of a house constitutes a "search" for purposes of the Fourth Amendment.
Comcast Corp. v. Behrend 11-864 2013-03-27 The Third Circuit improperly certified a class action against cable company Comcast under Rule 23(b). The damages model the class proposed was not adequate.
Millbrook v. United States 11-10362 2013-03-27 The petitioner, a prisoner, was raped by federal prison guards. The so-called "law enforcement proviso" of the Federal Tort Claims Act allowed the petitioner to sue the federal government for the guards' conduct.
Marshall v. Rodgers 12-382 2013-04-01 The petitioner, convicted in state court of gun-related crimes, claimed the courts had violated his Sixth Amendment right to counsel by declining to appoint him a lawyer to assist him in filing a motion for a new trial, though he had waived this right three times already. The Ninth Circuit agreed with the petitioner, but the Supreme Court reversed and remanded.
Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk 11-1059 2013-04-16 A nurse brought a collective action against her former employer for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employer offered the nurse a settlement under Rule 68 for her own damages, but not those of other potential class members. The Supreme Court held that the offer mooted her claim.
US Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen 11-1285 2013-04-16 The terms of an ERISA plan governed when an ERISA claim was brought under the statutory provision authorizing "appropriate equitable relief . . . to enforce . . . the terms of the” plan. But when there are gaps in the plan, equitable doctrines may be used to construe it.
Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. 10-1491 2013-04-17 The Court unanimously agreed (albeit for different reasons) that the Alien Tort Statute did not allow a foreign citizen to sue a foreign corporation in an American court for aiding and abetting the commission of human rights abuses on foreign soil.
Missouri v. McNeely 11-1425 2013-04-17 In drunk-driving investigations, the natural dissipation of alcohol in the bloodstream does not constitute an exigency in every case sufficient to justify conducting a blood test without a warrant.
Moncrieffe v. Holder 11-702 2013-04-23 If a noncitizen’s conviction for a marijuana distribution offense fails to establish that the offense involved either payment or more than a small amount of marijuana, it is not an aggravated felony under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
McBurney v. Young 12-17 2013-04-29 Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act, which grants Virginia citizens access to all public records, but grants no such right to non-Virginians, violates neither the Privileges and Immunities Clause nor the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.
Boyer v. Louisiana 11-9953 2013-04-29 A majority of the Supreme Court dismissed this writ of certiorari as "improvidently granted." The question presented had been: Under the Sixth Amendment's speedy trial guarantee, if delay in a criminal defendant’s trial is caused by inadequate state funding for indigent defense counsel, should that delay be counted against the State? Because this case was dismissed, the answer (from Vermont v. Brillion) remains "yes, but not much."
Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics 12-398 2013-06-13 The Court held in favor of Petitioners, that naturally occurring sequences of DNA cannot be patented, however artificially created "cDNA" is patent eligible.
Fisher v. University of Texas 11-345 2013-06-24 The Fifth Circuit failed to apply strict scrutiny when it affirmed the University of Texas's affirmative action policy. The decision is vacated and the case is remanded for further consideration.
United States v. Windsor 12-307 2013-06-26 Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, as it violates due process and equal protection.
Hollingsworth v. Perry 12-144 2013-06-26 The Court held that the Petitioners did not have standing in the matter under Article III, § 2 of the Constitution. The decision of the circuit court is vacated and the case is remanded to the Ninth Circuit under instructions that the appeal be dismissed.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Supreme Court's website - contains recent decisions, oral argument transcripts, and argument schedule

Further reading[edit]

  • Marcia Coyle, The Roberts Court: The Struggle for the Constitution (2013) ISBN 978-1451627510