US Supreme Court


FindLaw Opinion Summaries – United States Supreme Court Daily opinion summaries from the United States Supreme Court, brought to you by FindLaw.com.

  • Obduskey v. McCarthy and Holthus LLP
    on March 20, 2019 at 8:00 am

    (United States Supreme Court) – Held that a business engaged in nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings was not a “debt collector” under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. A homeowner claimed that the business violated certain statutory requirements in carrying out a foreclosure on behalf of a lender. Rejecting this argument, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Act was inapplicable to this nonjudicial foreclosure proceeding. Justice Breyer delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court, clarifying the statute’s definition of debt collector. […]

  • Frank v. Gaos
    on March 20, 2019 at 8:00 am

    (United States Supreme Court) – Remanded a class action settlement case for the courts below to address the named plaintiffs’ standing to sue, in light of Spokeo Inc. v. Robins, 578 U.S. __ (2016). Issued a per curiam opinion, in this consumer suit against an internet company. […]

  • Washington State Dept. of Licensing v. Cougar Den, Inc.
    on March 19, 2019 at 8:00 am

    (United States Supreme Court) – This case involved the State of Washington’s tax on fuel importers who travel by public highway. The Yakama Nation contended that its 1855 treaty with the United States forbids that tax from being imposed upon fuel importers who are tribal members. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed with the tribe. Justice Breyer’s plurality opinion was joined by only two other justices. Justices Gorsuch and Ginsburg concurred in the judgment. […]

  • Nielsen v. Preap
    on March 19, 2019 at 8:00 am

    (United States Supreme Court) – Interpreted an immigration law provision that focuses on noncitizens who have committed certain serious offenses or have ties to terrorism. The question had to do with whether these individuals may apply for bail or parole while the government decides whether to deport them. In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court answered the question “no.” Justice Alito delivered the Court’s opinion. […]

  • Air and Liquid Systems Corp. v. DeVries
    on March 19, 2019 at 8:00 am

    (United States Supreme Court) – Revived a maritime tort lawsuit against manufacturers of turbines and other equipment for three Navy ships. Family members of two deceased Navy veterans claimed that the manufacturer violated a duty to warn sailors of the health risks faced from asbestos fibers released into the air. The U.S. Supreme Court found merit in the plaintiffs’ contentions. Justice Kavanaugh delivered the opinion for a 6-3 majority, clarifying the circumstances in which a duty to warn exists in the maritime context. […]

  • BNSF Railway Co. v. Loos
    on March 4, 2019 at 8:00 am

    (United States Supreme Court) – Held that an award of damages compensating an injured railroad worker for lost wages was subject to taxation under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act. The worker contended that the wages he recovered in this Federal Employers’ Liability Act case should not be considered compensation subject to the payroll tax, which funds a self-sustaining retirement benefits system for railroad workers. Disagreeing, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the tax applied. Justice Ginsburg delivered the opinion of a 7-2 Court. […]

  • Rimini Street, Inc. v. Oracle USA, Inc.
    on March 4, 2019 at 8:00 am

    (United States Supreme Court) – Held that the Copyright Act authorizes federal district courts to award a prevailing party only the six categories of costs specified in the general costs statute. A software manufacturer that obtained an infringement judgment against another company argued that the Act’s reference to “full costs” meant that a court could award it costs beyond the six categories. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rejected this argument for additional costs in an opinion delivered by Justice Kavanaugh. […]

  • Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com
    on March 4, 2019 at 8:00 am

    (United States Supreme Court) – Held that a copyright claimant may not commence an infringement suit until the Copyright Office registers the copyright. The plaintiff, a news organization that sued a news website for infringement, argued that the relevant date should be when the Copyright Office receives a completed application for registration, even if the Register of Copyrights has not yet acted on that application. The U.S. Supreme Court disagreed, in a unanimous opinion delivered by Justice Ginsburg. […]

  • Garza v. Idaho
    on February 27, 2019 at 8:00 am

    (United States Supreme Court) – Held that a defendant who had, in the course of pleading guilty, signed what is often called an appeal waiver was entitled to the presumption of prejudice recognized in Roe v. Flores-Ortega, 528 U.S. 470 (2000). Flores-Ortega addressed what happens when an attorney’s deficient performance costs a defendant an appeal that the defendant would have otherwise pursued. Justice Sotomayor delivered the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in a 6-3 decision. […]

  • Jam v. International Finance Corp.
    on February 27, 2019 at 8:00 am

    (United States Supreme Court) – Held that an international organization did not have as much immunity from lawsuits as it contended it did. The U.S.-headquartered organization was being sued in connection with its financing of a development project in India that allegedly created damaging pollution. The U.S. Supreme Court concluded that the organization’s immunity was the same as foreign governments enjoy today under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, in a 7-1 decision interpreting the International Organizations Immunities Act. Chief Justice Roberts delivered the Court’s opinion. Justice Kavanaugh took no part in the decision. […]

  • Madison v. Alabama
    on February 27, 2019 at 8:00 am

    (United States Supreme Court) – Held that the Eighth Amendment may permit executing a prisoner even if he cannot remember committing his crime, but it may forbid execution if his dementia prevents him from comprehending why he is being put to death. A death row inmate in Alabama argued that his memory loss and dementia entitled him to a stay of execution. In a 5-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified the law on these matters and remanded to the state court for further proceedings, in an opinion delivered by Justice Kagan. Justice Kavanaugh took no part in the decision. […]

  • Nutraceutical Corp. v. Lambert
    on February 26, 2019 at 8:00 am

    (United States Supreme Court) – Held that the federal rule governing appeals from orders granting or denying class certification is not subject to equitable tolling. The plaintiff contended that his failure to comply with the 14-day limit specified in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f) should be tolled, because he had acted reasonably in the particular circumstances here. Disagreeing, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that the time limit for appealing class certification rulings cannot be equitably tolled. Justice Sotomayor wrote the unanimous opinion. […]

  • Yovino v. Rizo
    on February 25, 2019 at 8:00 am

    (United States Supreme Court) – Held that the Ninth Circuit should not have counted the vote of a circuit judge who died before the decision was issued, because deceased federal judges cannot exercise judicial power after their death. The judge had passed away 11 days before the issuance of his en banc majority opinion in this Equal Pay Act case, and his vote made a difference in the outcome. Based on this error, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated and remanded in a per curiam opinion. […]

  • Dawson v. Steager
    on February 20, 2019 at 8:00 am

    (United States Supreme Court) – Held that West Virginia unlawfully discriminated against a U.S. Marshalls Service retiree when it gave a generous pension tax benefit only to state or local retirees who served in law enforcement. The plaintiff relied on a federal statute that, broadly speaking, bars states from taxing the compensation of federal employees differently from state employees. In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Gorsuch, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with him that West Virginia’s tax rule unlawfully disfavored federal retirees. […]

  • Timbs v. Indiana
    on February 20, 2019 at 8:00 am

    (United States Supreme Court) – Held that the Fourteenth Amendment makes the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on excessive fines fully applicable to the States. In this case involving the forfeiture of property for a drug offense, Indiana’s highest court had concluded that the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause constrains only federal action and is inapplicable to state impositions. Disagreeing, the U.S. Supreme Court applied the Fourteenth Amendment Incorporation Doctrine, in an opinion written by Justice Ginsburg and joined by seven other justices. Justice Thomas concurred in the judgment. […]

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