Case by Topic

  • 640 OCTAVIA LLC ET AL VS. Greg Walston attorney
    On 07/15/2020 640 OCTAVIA LLC filed a Contract – Professional Negligence lawsuit against GREGORY S WALSTON. This case was filed in San Francisco County Superior Courts, San Francisco County Civic Center Courthouse located in San Francisco, California. The Judges overseeing this case are VEDICA PURI, ETHAN P. SCHULMAN, GARRETT L. WONG, RICHARD B. ULMER, KATHLEEN A. KELLY, SAMUEL K. FENG and ANNE-CHRISTINE MASSULLO. The […]
  • Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action
    Justia Summary After the Supreme Court decided that the University of Michigan’s undergraduate admissions plan’s use of race-based preferences violated the Equal Protection Clause, but that its law school admission plan’s limited use did not, Michigan voters adopted a new section of the state constitution (Proposal 2), prohibiting use of race-based preferences in the admissions process for state universities. The […]
  • Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc.
    Justia Summary The “pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features” of a “design of a useful article” are eligible for copyright protection as artistic works if those features “can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article,” 17 U.S.C. 101. Plaintiffs have copyright registrations for two-dimensional designs, consisting of lines, chevrons, and colorful […]
  • West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency
    Justia Summary In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated the Clean Power Plan rule, which addressed carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, citing Section 111 of the Clean Air Act,” 42 U.S.C. 7411(d). Although the states set the enforceable rules governing existing sources, EPA determines the emissions limit with which they have to comply by determining the “best […]
  • Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency
    Justia Summary Sackett began backfilling an Idaho lot with dirt to build a home. The Environmental Protection Agency informed Sackett that the property contained wetlands and that the backfilling violated the Clean Water Act, which prohibits discharging pollutants into “the waters of the United States,” 33 U.S.C. 1362(7). The EPA ordered Sackett to restore the site, threatening penalties of over […]
  • American Hospital Association v. Becerra
    Justia Summary The formula that the Department of Health and Human Services must employ annually to set reimbursement rates for certain outpatient prescription drugs provided by hospitals to Medicare patients, 42 U.S.C. 1395l(t)(14)(A)(iii), provides two options. If HHS has conducted a survey of hospitals’ acquisition costs for each covered outpatient drug, it may set reimbursement rates based on the hospitals’ […]
  • Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization
    Justia Summary Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act provides that “[e]xcept in a medical emergency or in the case of a severe fetal abnormality, a person shall not intentionally or knowingly perform . . . or induce an abortion of an unborn human being if the probable gestational age of the unborn human being has been determined to be greater than fifteen […]
  • Whitman v. American Trucking Associations, Inc.
    Annotation PRIMARY HOLDING The non-delegation doctrine allows Congress to give agencies some discretion in setting regulations, but they may not consider financial effects when making environmental regulations. FACTS Under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency was tasked with creating National Ambient Air Quality Standards for the review of Whitman, the agency’s Administrator, who had the power to revise […]
  • Federal Communications Commission v. Prometheus Radio Project
    Justia Summary Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ownership rules limit the number of radio stations, television stations, and newspapers that a single entity may own in a given market. Section 202(h) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 directs the FCC to review its media ownership rules every four years and to repeal or modify rules that no longer serve the public […]
  • National Collegiate Athletic Association. v. Alston
    Justia Summary The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) limits how schools may compensate college-level “amateur” student-athletes. Current and former student-athletes brought suit under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, which prohibits “contract[s], combination[s], or conspirac[ies] in restraint of trade or commerce,” 15 U.S.C. 1. The Ninth Circuit declined to disturb NCAA rules limiting undergraduate athletic scholarships and other compensation related […]
  • Jones v. Mississippi
    Justia Summary A Mississippi jury convicted Jones of murder for killing his grandfather when Jones was 15 years old. Under Mississippi law, murder carried a mandatory sentence of life without parole. That sentence was affirmed on appeal. The Supreme Court subsequently held, in Miller v. Alabama, that the Eighth Amendment permits a life-without-parole sentence for a defendant who committed homicide […]
  • Salinas v. Railroad Retirement Board
    Justia Summary In 1992, Salinas began seeking disability benefits under the Railroad Retirement Act (RRA) based on serious injuries he suffered during his 15-year railroad career. He was granted benefits after his fourth application in 2013. He timely sought reconsideration of the amount and start date. After reconsideration was denied, he filed an administrative appeal, arguing that his third application, […]
  • Kahler v. Kansas
    Justia Summary Kansas adopted the “cognitive incapacity” test for the insanity defense, which examines whether a defendant was able to understand what he was doing when he committed a crime. A defendant may raise mental illness to show that he “lacked the culpable mental state required as an element of the offense charged,” Kan. Stat. 21–5209. Otherwise, a defendant may […]
  • Department of Commerce v. New York
    Justia Summary Under the Census Act, authorized by the Enumeration Clause, the Secretary of Commerce conducts the decennial census “in such form and content as he may determine,” 13 U.S.C. 141(a), aided by the Census Bureau. Census data is used to apportion congressional representatives, allocate federal funds, draw electoral districts, and collect demographic information. All but one survey between 1820 […]
  • Kisor v. Wilkie
    Justia Summary Kisor, a Vietnam veteran, unsuccessfully sought VA disability benefits in 1982, alleging that he had developed PTSD from his military service. In 2006, Kisor moved to reopen his claim. The VA then agreed he was eligible for benefits, but granted benefits only from the date of his motion to reopen, not from the date of his first application. […]
  • Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com
    Justia Summary Fourth Estate, a news organization that licensed works to Wall-Street.com, a news website. sued Wall-Street for copyright infringement of articles that Wall-Street failed to remove from its website after canceling the license agreement. Fourth Estate had applied to register the articles with the Copyright Office, but the Register had not acted on those applications. No civil infringement action […]
  • Janus v. AFSCME
    Justia Summary If a union is designated as the exclusive representative of Illinois public sector employees it represents even those who do not join; individual employees may not be represented by another agent or negotiate directly with their employer. Nonmembers are required to pay an “agency fee,” a percentage of the full union dues to cover union expenditures attributable to […]
  • Ohio v. American Express Co.
    Justia Summary The Amex credit card companies use a two-sided transaction platform to serve cardholders and merchants. Unlike traditional markets, two-sided platforms exhibit “indirect network effects,” because the value of the platform to one group depends on how many members of another group participate. Two-sided platforms must take these effects into account before making a change in price on either […]
  • Timbs v. Indiana
    Justia Summary Timbs pleaded guilty in Indiana state court to dealing in a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit theft. The police seized a Land Rover SUV Timbs had purchased with money he received from an insurance policy when his father died. The state sought civil forfeiture of Timbs’s vehicle, charging that it had been used to transport heroin. Observing […]
  • Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky
    Justia Summary Minnesota law prohibits wearing a “political badge, political button, or other political insignia” inside a polling place on Election Day, Minn. Stat. 211B.11(1), including clothing and accessories with political insignia. Election judges are authorized to decide whether a particular item is banned. Days before the 2010 election, plaintiffs challenged the ban. In response, the state distributed guidance with […]
  • Bucklew v. Precythe
    Justia Summary Under the Supreme Court’s “Baze-Glossip” test, a state’s refusal to alter its execution protocol can violate the Eighth Amendment only if an inmate identifies a “feasible, readily implemented” alternative procedure that would “significantly reduce a substantial risk of severe pain.” Missouri plans to execute Bucklew by lethal injection using a single drug, pentobarbital. Bucklew presented an as-applied Eighth […]
  • Madison v. Alabama
    Justia Summary In “Ford” the Supreme Court held that the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishments precludes executing a prisoner who has “lost his sanity” after sentencing; in “Panetti,” the Court prohibited execution of a prisoner whose “mental state is so distorted by a mental illness” that he lacks a “rational understanding” of “the State’s rationale for [his] […]
  • Heffernan v. City of Paterson
    Justia Summary The Paterson, New Jersey, chief of police and Officer Heffernan’s supervisor were appointed by Paterson’s incumbent mayor, who was running for re-election against Heffernan's friend, Spagnola. Heffernan was not involved in Spagnola’s campaign. As a favor to his bed-ridden mother, Heffernan delivered her Spagnola campaign yard sign. Other officers reported seeing Heffernan at a Spagnola distribution point while […]
  • Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt
    Justia Summary Texas House Bill 2 (2013) required that a “physician performing or inducing an abortion . . . must, on the date [of service], have active admitting privileges at a hospital . . . not further than 30 miles from the” abortion facility, and that the facility meet the state’s “minimum standards . . . for ambulatory surgical centers.” […]
  • Reed v. Town of Gilbert
    Justia Summary Gilbert, Arizona prohibits the display of outdoor signs without a permit, but exempts 23 categories. “Ideological Signs,” “communicating a message or ideas” that do not fit in any other category, may be up to 20 square feet and have no placement or time restrictions. “Political Signs,” may be up to 32 square feet and may only be displayed […]
  • Glossip v. Gross
    Justia Summary After Oklahoma adopted lethal injection as its method of execution, it used a three-drug protocol of sodium thiopental (a barbiturate) to induce a state of unconsciousness; a paralytic agent to inhibit all muscular-skeletal movements; and potassium chloride to induce cardiac arrest. In 2008 the Supreme Court held that that protocol did not violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against […]
  • Michigan v. Envtl. Prot. Agency
    Justia Summary The Clean Air Act (CAA) directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate emissions of hazardous air pollutants from stationary sources, such as refineries and factories, 42 U.S.C. 7412; it may regulate power plants under this program only if it concludes that “regulation is appropriate and necessary” after studying hazards to public health. EPA found power-plant regulation “appropriate” […]
  • Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Ass’n
    Justia Summary The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) establishes procedures federal administrative agencies use for “formulating, amending, or repealing a rule,” 5 U.S.C. 551(5), and distinguishes between “legislative rules,” issued through notice-and-comment rulemaking and having the “force and effect of law,” and “interpretive rules.” Interpretive rules “advise the public of the agency’s construction of the statutes and rules which it administers,” […]
  • Obergefell v. Hodges
    Justia Summary Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Plaintiffs challenged the laws as violating the Fourteenth Amendment. The district courts ruled in their favor. The Sixth Circuit consolidated the cases and reversed. The Supreme Court reversed. The Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of […]
  • Obergefell v. Hodges
    Justia Summary Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Plaintiffs challenged the laws as violating the Fourteenth Amendment. The district courts ruled in their favor. The Sixth Circuit consolidated the cases and reversed. The Supreme Court reversed. The Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of […]
  • North Carolina Bd. of Dental Examiners v. FTC
    Annotation PRIMARY HOLDING State-action antitrust immunity does not apply to a state board that places restraints on an occupation when a majority of its decision-makers, elected by others in the occupation, are active market participants in the occupation and the state does not actively supervise the board nor has the board acted pursuant to a clearly articulated and affirmatively expressed […]
  • Lane v. Franks
    Justia Summary Lane, Director of CITY, a program for underprivileged youth operated by Central Alabama Community College (CACC), discovered that Schmitz, a state representative on CITY’s payroll, had not been reporting for work. Lane terminated her employment. Federal authorities later indicted Schmitz on charges of mail fraud and theft concerning a program receiving federal funds. Lane testified, under subpoena, regarding […]
  • McCutcheon v. FEC
    Justia Summary The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, impose base limits, restricting how much money a donor may contribute to a particular candidate or committee, and aggregate limits, restricting how much money a donor may contribute in total to all candidates or committees, 2 U.S.C. 441a. In the 2011–2012 election cycle, […]
  • Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, 573 U.S. 302
    Justia Summary The Clean Air Act requires permits for stationary sources, such as factories and powerplants. The Act’s “Prevention of Significant Deterioration” (PSD) provisions make it unlawful to construct or modify a “major emitting facility” in “any area to which [PSD program] applies” without a permit, 42 U.S.C. 7475(a)(1), 7479(2)(C). A “major emitting facility” is a stationary source with the […]
  • FTC v. Actavis, Inc.
    Justia Summary The Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984 (Hatch-Waxman Act), 21 U.S.C. 355(j)(2)(A)(vii)(IV) established procedures for identifying and resolving patent disputes between brand-name and generic drug manufacturers. One procedure requires a prospective generic manufacturer to certify to the FDA that any listed, relevant patent is invalid or will not be infringed by the manufacture, use, […]
  • City of Arlington v. Federal Communications Commission
    Justia Summary The Communications Act of 1934 requires state or local governments to act on siting applications for wireless facilities “within a reasonable period of time after the request is duly filed.” 47 U.S.C. 332(c)(7)(B)(ii). The FCC issued a Declaratory Ruling concluding that the phrase “reasonable period of time” is presumptively (but rebuttably) 90 days to process an application to […]
  • Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Justia Summary Wiley, an academic publisher, often assigns to its foreign subsidiary (WileyAsia) rights to publish, print, and sell Wiley’s English language textbooks abroad. WileyAsia’s books state that they are not to be taken (without permission) into the U.S. When Kirtsaeng moved to the U.S., he asked friends to buy foreign edition English-language textbooks in Thai book shops, where they […]
  • United States v. Alvarez
    Justia Summary The Stolen Valor Act makes it a crime to falsely claim receipt of military decorations or medals and provides an enhanced penalty if the Congressional Medal of Honor is involved, 18 U. S. C. 704 (b),(c). After pleading guilty to falsely claiming that he had received the Medal of Honor, Alvarez challenged the Act as unconstitutional. The Ninth […]
  • Los Angeles County Flood Control Dist. v. NRDC
    Justia Summary Los Angeles County Flood Control District operates a “municipal separate storm sewer system” (MS4) drainage system that collects, transports, and discharges storm water. Because storm water is often heavily polluted, the Clean Water Act (CWA) and regulations require certain MS4 operators to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit before discharging storm water into navigable waters. […]
  • Miller v. Alabama
    Justia Summary In each of two underlying cases, a 14-year-old was convicted of murder and sentenced to a mandatory term of life imprisonment without possibility of parole. The highest courts of Alabama and Arkansas upheld the sentences. The Supreme Court reversed. The Eighth Amendment forbids a sentencing scheme that mandates life in prison without possibility of parole for juvenile homicide […]
  • Brown, et al. v. Entertainment Merchants Assn. et al.
    Justia Summary Respondents, representing the video game and software industries, filed a preenforcement challenge to California Assembly Bill 1179 (Act), Cal. Civ. Code Ann. 1746-1746.5, which restricted the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. At issue was whether the Act comported with the First Amendment. The Court held that, because the Act imposed a restriction on the […]
  • Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc.
    Justia Summary Vermont’s Prescription Confidentiality Law, Vt. Stat. Ann., Tit. 18, 4631(d), restricted the sale, disclosure, and use of pharmacy records that revealed the prescribing practices of individual doctors. Respondents, Vermont data miners and an association of brand-name drug manufacturers, sought declaratory and injunctive relief against state officials, contending that section 4631(d) violated their rights under the Free Speech Clause […]
  • American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut
    Justia Summary Plaintiffs, several states, the city of New York, and three private land trusts, sued defendants, four private power companies and the federal Tennessee Valley Authority, alleging that defendants' emissions substantially and unreasonably interfered with public rights in violation of the federal common law of interstate nuisance, or in the alternative, of state tort law. Plaintiffs sought a decree […]
  • American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut
    Justia Summary Plaintiffs, several states, the city of New York, and three private land trusts, sued defendants, four private power companies and the federal Tennessee Valley Authority, alleging that defendants' emissions substantially and unreasonably interfered with public rights in violation of the federal common law of interstate nuisance, or in the alternative, of state tort law. Plaintiffs sought a decree […]
  • Snyder v. Phelps
    For the past 20 years, the congregation of the Westboro Baptist Church has picketed military funerals to communicate its belief that God hates the United States for its tolerance of homosexuality, particularly in America’s military. The church’s picketing has also condemned the Catholic Church for scandals involving its clergy. Fred Phelps, who founded the church, and six Westboro Baptist parishioners […]
  • Graham v. Florida
    Annotation PRIMARY HOLDING Sentencing a juvenile defendant who did not commit homicide to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole violates the Eighth Amendment because it is disproportionate to the crime. These juveniles should have an opportunity to show that they can mature and reform their behavior. FACTS After committing armed burglary and attempted armed robbery, among other offenses, a […]
  • American Needle, Inc. v. NFL
    AMERICAN NEEDLE, INC. V. NATIONALFOOTBALL LEAGUE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES AMERICAN NEEDLE, INC. v. NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE et al. certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the seventh circuit No. 08–661. Argued January 13, 2010—Decided May 24, 2010 Respondent National Football League (NFL) is an unincorporated association of 32 separately owned professional football teams, also respondents here. The teams, […]
  • Citizens United v. FEC
    As amended by §203 of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), federal law prohibits corporations and unions from using their general treasury funds to make independent expenditures for speech that is an “electioneering communication” or for speech that expressly advocates the election or defeat of a candidate. 2 U. S. C. §441b. An electioneering communication is “any broadcast, cable, […]
  • Coeur Alaska, Inc. v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council
    In reviving a closed Alaska gold mine using a “froth flotation” technique, petitioner Coeur Alaska, Inc., plans to dispose of the resulting waste material, a rock and water mixture called “slurry,” by pumping it into a nearby lake and then discharging purified lake water into a downstream creek. The Clean Water Act (CWA), inter alia, classifies crushed rock as a “pollutant,” §352(6); […]
  • Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. U.S.
    The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) is designed to promote the cleanup of hazardous waste sites and to ensure that cleanup costs are borne by those responsible for the contamination. In 1960, Brown & Bryant, Inc. (B&B), an agricultural chemical distributor, began operating on a parcel of land located in Arvin, California. B&B later expanded onto an […]
  • FCC v. Fox Television Stations, Inc.
    Federal law bans the broadcasting of “any … indecent … language,” 18 U. S. C. §1464, which includes references to sexual or excretory activity or organs, see FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U. S. 726. Having first defined the prohibited speech in 1975, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took a cautious, but gradually expanding, approach to enforcing the statutory prohibition. In 2004, the FCC’s Golden Globes […]
  • Pacific Bell Telephone Co. v. linkLine Communications
    Petitioners (hereinafter AT&T) own infrastructure and facilities needed to provide “DSL” service, a method of connecting to the Internet at high speeds over telephone lines. As a condition for a recent merger, the Federal Communications Commission requires AT&T to provide wholesale DSL transport service to independent firms at a price no greater than the retail price of AT&T’s DSL service. […]
  • Pleasant Grove City v. Summum
    Pioneer Park (Park), a public park in petitioner Pleasant Grove City (City), has at least 11 permanent, privately donated displays, including a Ten Commandments monument. In rejecting the request of respondent Summum, a religious organization, to erect a monument containing the Seven Aphorisms of Summum, the City explained that it limited Park monuments to those either directly related to the […]
  • Kennedy v. Louisiana
    Louisiana charged petitioner with the aggravated rape of his then-8-year-old stepdaughter. He was convicted and sentenced to death under a state statute authorizing capital punishment for the rape of a child under 12. The State Supreme Court affirmed, rejecting petitioner’s reliance on Coker v. Georgia, 433 U. S. 584, which barred the use of the death penalty as punishment for the rape of an […]
  • Morse v. Frederick
    At a school-sanctioned and school-supervised event, petitioner Morse, the high school principal, saw students unfurl a banner stating “BONG HiTS 4 JESUS,” which she regarded as promoting illegal drug use. Consistent with established school policy prohibiting such messages at school events, Morse directed the students to take down the banner. When one of the students who had brought the banner […]
  • United States v. Atlantic Research Corp.
    ctions 107(a) and 113(f) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 allow private parties to recover expenses associated with cleaning up contaminated sites. Section 107(a) defines four categories of potentially responsible parties (PRPs) and makes them liable for, among other things, “(A) all costs of removal or remedial action incurred by the United States Government or […]
  • Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School Dist. 
    PRIMARY HOLDING Achieving racially balanced school districts does not amount to a compelling government interest that satisfies strict scrutiny. FACTS In order to create a numerical racial balance among its 10 public high schools, the Seattle School District assigned students among them. However, Seattle did not have a history of racially segregated schools. In Louisville, Kentucky, the Jefferson County Public […]
  • Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly
    Annotation PRIMARY HOLDING There must be sufficient facts in a complaint to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face for it to avoid dismissal for failing to state a claim. FACTS Consumers with telephone and internet subscriptions brought an antitrust claim against local telephone companies, alleging that the companies had arranged not to compete with each […]
  • Rapanos v. United States
    As relevant here, the Clean Water Act (CWA or Act) makes it unlawful to discharge dredged or fill material into “navigable waters” without a permit, 33 U. S. C. §§1311(a), 1342(a), and defines “navigable waters” as “the waters of the United States, including the territorial seas,” §1362(7). The Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), which issues permits for the discharge of dredged […]
  • Garcetti v. Ceballos
    Respondent Ceballos, a supervising deputy district attorney, was asked by defense counsel to review a case in which, counsel claimed, the affidavit police used to obtain a critical search warrant was inaccurate. Concluding after the review that the affidavit made serious misrepresentations, Ceballos relayed his findings to his supervisors, petitioners here, and followed up with a disposition memorandum recommending dismissal. […]
  • Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S.
    Annotation PRIMARY HOLDING The Clean Air Act allows the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouses gases because they qualify as air pollutants. Also, standing requires showing a concrete harm that can be traced to the defendant and remedied by the courts. FACTS Twelve states as well as various cities and organizations sought to require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to […]
  • Gonzales v. Carhart
    Annotation PRIMARY HOLDING The Fourteenth Amendment does not prevent states from passing a law against partial-birth abortion if the state bases the reasoning for the law on special ethical and moral concerns that do not apply to most other forms of abortion. FACTS In 2003, the federal government promulgated a Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which categorically banned these abortions without […]
  • Gonzales v. Oregon
    The Controlled Substances Act (CSA or Act), which was enacted in 1970 with the main objectives of combating drug abuse and controlling legitimate and illegitimate traffic in controlled substances, criminalizes, inter alia, the unauthorized distribution and dispensation of substances classified in any of its five schedules. The Attorney General may add, remove, or reschedule substances only after making particular findings, and […]
  • Texaco, Inc. v. Dagher
    Petitioners, Texaco Inc. and Shell Oil Co., collaborated in a joint venture, Equilon Enterprises, to refine and sell gasoline in the western United States under the two companies’ original brand names. After Equilon set a single price for both brands, respondents, Texaco and Shell Oil service station owners, brought suit alleging that, by unifying gas prices under the two brands, […]
  • National Cable & Telecommunications Ass’n v. Brand X Internet Services
    Consumers traditionally access the Internet through “dial-up” connections provided via local telephone lines. Internet service providers (ISPs), in turn, link those calls to the Internet network, not only by providing a physical connection, but also by offering consumers the ability to translate raw data into information they may both view on their own computers and transmit to others connected to […]
  • MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd.
    Respondent companies distribute free software that allows computer users to share electronic files through peer-to-peer networks, so called because the computers communicate directly with each other, not through central servers. Although such networks can be used to share any type of digital file, recipients of respondents’ software have mostly used them to share copyrighted music and video files without authorization. […]
  • Illinois Tool Works, Inc. v. Independent Ink, Inc.
    Petitioners manufacture and market printing systems that include a patented printhead and ink container and unpatented ink, which they sell to original equipment manufacturers who agree that they will purchase ink exclusively from petitioners and that neither they nor their customers will refill the patented containers with ink of any kind. Respondent developed ink with the same chemical composition as […]
  • Ashcroft v. ACLU
    To protect minors from exposure to sexually explicit materials on the Internet, Congress enacted the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), 47 U. S. C. §231, which, among other things, imposes a $50,000 fine and 6 months in prison for the knowing posting, for “commercial purposes,” of World Wide Web content that is “harmful to minors,” but provides an affirmative defense […]
  • Department of Transportation v. Public Citizen
    The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) requires federal agencies to analyze the environmental impact of their proposals and actions in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), but Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations allow an agency to prepare a more limited Environmental Assessment (EA) if the agency’s proposed action neither is categorically excluded from the EIS production requirement nor […]
  • South Florida Water Management Dist. v. Miccosukee Tribe
    Congress established the Central and South Florida Flood Control Project (Project) to address drainage and flood control problems in reclaimed portions of the Everglades. Five Project elements are at issue here. The first, the “C–11” canal, collects ground water and rainwater from an area that includes urban, agricultural, and residential development. The second Project element, pump station “S–9,” moves water […]
  • Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation v. EPA
    The Clean Air Act’s (CAA or Act) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program, 42 U. S. C. §7477, was designed to ensure that the air quality in “attainment areas,” i.e., areas that are already “clean,” will not degrade, see §7470(1). The program bars construction of any major air pollutant emitting facility not equipped with “the best available control technology” (BACT). §7475(a)(4). The […]
  • McConnell v. FEC
    The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), which amended the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA), the Communications Act of 1934, and other portions of the United States Code, is the most recent of nearly a century of federal enactments designed “to purge national politics of what [is] conceived to be the pernicious influence of ‘big money’ campaign […]
  • Lawrence v. Texas
    Responding to a reported weapons disturbance in a private residence, Houston police entered petitioner Lawrence’s apartment and saw him and another adult man, petitioner Garner, engaging in a private, consensual sexual act. Petitioners were arrested and convicted of deviate sexual intercourse in violation of a Texas statute forbidding two persons of the same sex to engage in certain intimate sexual […]
  • Grutter v. Bollinger
    Annotation PRIMARY HOLDING The use of an applicant’s race as one factor in an admissions policy of a public educational institution does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment if the policy is narrowly tailored to the compelling interest of promoting a diverse student body, and if it uses a holistic process to evaluate each applicant, as […]
  • Virginia v. Black
    Respondents were convicted separately of violating a Virginia statute that makes it a felony “for any person . . ., with the intent of intimidating any person or group . . . , to burn a cross on the property of another, a highway or other public place,” and specifies that “[a]ny such burning . . . shall be prima facie evidence of an intent to […]
  • Verizon Communications, Inc. v. Law Offices of Curtis V. Trinko
    The Telecommunications Act of 1996 imposes upon an incumbent local exchange carrier (LEC) the obligation to share its telephone network with competitors, 47 U. S. C. §251(c), including the duty to provide access to individual network elements on an “unbundled†basis, see §251(c)(3). New entrants, so-called competitive LECs, combine and resell these unbundled network elements (UNEs). Petitioner Verizon Communications Inc., the […]
  • Republican Party of Minnesota v. White
    The Minnesota Supreme Court has adopted a canon of judicial conduct that prohibits a “candidate for a judicial office” from “announc[ing] his or her views on disputed legal or political issues” (hereinafter announce clause). While running for associate justice of that court, petitioner Gregory Wersal (and others) filed this suit seeking a declaration that the announce clause violates the First […]
  • Eastman Kodak Co. v. Image Technical Services, Inc.
    After respondent independent service organizations (ISO’s) began servicing copying and micrographic equipment manufactured by petitioner Eastman Kodak Co., Kodak adopted policies to limit the availability to ISO’s of replacement parts for its equipment and to make it more difficult for ISO’s to compete with it in servicing such equipment. Respondents then filed this action, alleging, inter alia, that Kodak had unlawfully tied […]
  • Barnhart v. Walton
    The Social Security Act authorizes payment of Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI Supplemental Security Income to individuals who have an “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable … impairment … which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” 42 U. S. C. §423(d)(1)(A) (emphasis added); accord, § […]
  • Legal Services Corp. v. Velazquez
    The Legal Services Corporation Act authorizes petitioner Legal Services Corporation (LSC) to distribute funds appropriated by Congress to local grantee organizations providing free legal assistance to indigent clients in, inter alia, welfare benefits claims. In every annual appropriations Act since 1996, Congress has prohibited LSC funding of any organization that represented clients in an effort to amend or otherwise challenge existing welfare […]
  • United States v. Mead Corp.
    The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States authorizes the United States Customs Service to classify and fix the rate of duty on imports, under rules and regulations issued by the Secretary of the Treasury. As relevant here, the Secretary provides for tariff rulings before the entry of goods by regulations authorizing “ruling letters” setting tariff classifications for particular imports. […]
  • Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
    Petitioner, a consortium of suburban Chicago municipalities, selected as a solid waste disposal site an abandoned sand and gravel pit with excavation trenches that had evolved into permanent and seasonal ponds. Because the operation called for filling in some of the ponds, petitioner contacted federal respondents, including the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), to determine if a landfill permit was […]
  • Bush v. Gore
    Annotation PRIMARY HOLDING Despite violating the Fourteenth Amendment by using disparate vote-counting procedures in different counties, Florida did not need to complete a recount in the 2000 presidential election because it could not be accomplished in a constitutionally valid way within the time limit set by federal law for resolving these controversies. FACTS In the 2000 election between Republican candidate […]
  • Stenberg v. Carhart
    Annotation PRIMARY HOLDING Under the Fourteenth Amendment, a state cannot pass an anti-abortion law that does not include an exception for the health of the mother. It also cannot pass a law that criminalizes partial-birth abortions unless it is thoroughly clear that it does not extend to other forms of abortion.
  • California Dental Ass’n v. FTC
    Petitioner California Dental Association (CDA), a nonprofit association of local dental societies to which about three-quarters of the State’s dentists belong, provides desirable insurance and preferential financing arrangements for its members, and engages in lobbying, litigation, marketing, and public relations for members’ benefit. Members agree to abide by the CDA’s Code of Ethics, which, inter alia, prohibits false or misleading advertising. The […]
  • National Endowment for the Arts v. Finley
    The National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965 vests the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) with substantial discretion to award financial grants to support the arts; it identifies only the broadest funding priorities, including “artistic and cultural significance, giving emphasis to … creativity and cultural diversity,” “professional excellence,” and the encouragement of “public … education […]
  • United States v. Bestfoods
    The United States brought this action under § 107(a)(2) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) against, among others, respondent CPC International Inc., the parent corporation of the defunct Ott Chemical Co. (Ott II), for the costs of cleaning up industrial waste generated by Ott II’s chemical plant. Section 107(a)(2) authorizes suits against, among others, […]
  • Feltner v. Columbia Pictures Television, Inc.
    Respondent Columbia Pictures Television, Inc., terminated agreements licensing several television series to three television stations owned by petitioner Feltner after the stations’ royalty payments became delinquent. When the stations continued to broadcast the programs, Columbia sued Feltner and others for, inter alia, copyright infringement. Columbia won partial summary judgment as to liability on its copyright infringement claims and then exercised the option […]
  • City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center, Inc.
    Annotation PRIMARY HOLDING There is no elevated level of scrutiny for government regulations that affect mentally retarded people, but these regulations still can be invalidated under rational basis review. FACTS Multiple-residence dwellings were classified as R-3 in the City of Cleburne in Texas. While they generally did not require a permit, a home for mentally retarded individuals did require a […]
  • Quality King Distributors, Inc. v. L’Anza Research Int’l, Inc.
    Respondent Uanza, a California manufacturer, sells its hair care products in this country exclusively to distributors who have agreed to resell within limited geographic areas and only to authorized retailers. Uanza promotes its domestic sales with extensive advertising and special retailer training. In foreign markets, however, it does not engage in comparable advertising or promotion; its foreign prices are substantially […]
  • Vacco v. Quill
    In New York, as in most States, it is a crime to aid another to commit or attempt suicide, but patients may refuse even lifesaving medical treatment. Respondent New York physicians assert that, although it would be consistent with the standards of their medical practices to prescribe lethal medication for mentally competent, terminally ill patients who are suffering great pain […]
  • Reno v. ACLU
    Two provisions of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA or Act) seek to protect minors from harmful material on the Internet, an international network of interconnected computers that enables millions of people to communicate with one another in “cyberspace” and to access vast amounts of information from around the world. Title 47 U. S. C. § 223(a)(I)(B)(ii) (1994 ed., […]
  • Washington v. Glucksberg
    Annotation PRIMARY HOLDING A state is permitted under the Fourteenth Amendment to pass a law prohibiting assisted suicide. FACTS Under the Natural Death Act of 1979, the state of Washington prohibited assisted suicide. The law was challenged by Harold Glucksberg and four other doctors in conjunction with a group of terminally ill individuals and Compassion in Dying, an organization that […]
  • United States v. Virginia
    Annotation PRIMARY HOLDING A state must have an exceedingly persuasive justification for applying a classification based on gender. The justification must not consist of overgeneralizations about the inherent differences between genders. FACTS The Virginia Military Institute had a policy that limited enrollment to men. The state argued that this restriction was appropriate because women would not be able to withstand […]
  • Brown v. Pro Football, Inc.
    After their collective-bargaining agreement expired, the National Football League (NFL), a group of football clubs, and the NFL Players Association, a labor union, began to negotiate a new contract. The NFL presented a plan that would permit each club to establish a “developmental squad” of substitute players, each of whom would be paid the same $1,000 weekly salary. The union […]
  • Romer v. Evans
    Annotation PRIMARY HOLDING Under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, a state cannot amend its constitution to deny homosexuals the same basic legal protections that heterosexuals receive. FACTS Amendment 2 to the Colorado state constitution, which was passed into law by a voter initiative in 1992, provided that no city, town, or county in the state could recognize […]
  • Babbitt v. Sweet Home Chapter of Communities for a Great Oregon
    As relevant here, the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA or Act) makes it unlawful for any person to “take” endangered or threatened species, § 9(a)(1)(B), and defines “take” to mean to “harass, harm, pursue,” “wound,” or “kill,” § 3(19). In 50 CFR § 17.3, petitioner Secretary of the Interior further defines “harm” to include “significant habitat modification or degradation […]
  • Rosenberger v. Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia
    Respondent University of Virginia, a state instrumentality, authorizes payments from its Student Activities Fund (SAF) to outside contractors for the printing costs of a variety of publications issued by student groups called “Contracted Independent Organizations” (CIO’s). The SAF receives its money from mandatory student fees and is designed to support a broad range of extracurricular student activities related to the […]
  • Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc.
    Respondent Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., filed suit against petitioners, the members of the rap music group 2 Live Crew and their record company, claiming that 2 Live Crew’s song, “Pretty Woman,” infringed AcuffRose’s copyright in Roy Orbison’s rock ballad, “Oh, Pretty Woman.” The District Court granted summary judgment for 2 Live Crew, holding that its song was a parody that made […]
  • Brooke Group Ltd. v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp.
    Cigarette manufacturing is a concentrated industry dominated by only six firms, including the two parties here. In 1980, petitioner (hereinafter Liggett) pioneered the economy segment of the market by developing a line of generic cigarettes offered at a list price roughly 30% lower than that of branded cigarettes. By 1984, generics had captured 4% of the market, at the expense […]
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