The Mystery of the Lingering SCOTUS Cases

Nearly 11 months ago on Jan. 15, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in eight new cases. When January 15 of 2017 rolls around, three of those cases will still be pending on the docket without having been argued before the court. The court in effect confirmed that unusual circumstance on Monday when it issued its calendar for the argument cycle that begins Jan. 9 and ends Jan. 18. The three long-lingering cases were nowhere to be found on the calendar: Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley, Murr v. Wisconsin and Microsoft v. Baker.

Practice

  • For 75th Argument, Waxman Might Win for Insurers in Health Data Dispute

    By Tony Mauro

    Before former U.S. solicitor general Seth Waxman rose to argue his 75th case before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, it seemed to some that this milestone would be an uphill battle.

  • Q&A: Questioning Justice and Jurisdiction in Indian Country

    By Marcia Coyle

    When he served as U.S. attorney for South Dakota and chairman of the U.S. Justice Department’s Native American Issues subcommittee, Brendan Johnson learned firsthand the quality of Indian tribal courts. Today, he doesn’t like the picture of tribal justice that a multibillion-dollar corporation is painting for the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Briefs & Arguments

  • Flight-Sharing Case, Shut Down by Feds, Arrives at Supreme Court

    By Jamie Schuman

    Private pilots have long posted ads at local airports to find passengers to chip in on costs. When a company called Flytenow moved that process online, the government put a stop to it. A cert petition pending before the U.S. Supreme Court in Flytenow v. Federal Aviation Administration argues that grounding the start-up was "dangerously anachronistic" and could stymie the growth of other "sharing economy" services, such as Uber and Airbnb.

  • High Court Veterans Make Arguments for Birthright Citizenship

    By Marcia Coyle

    During his GOP presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump triggered a debate over birthright citizenship. Now, some of the top high court advocates urge the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on what birthright citizenship means, particularly for persons born in U.S. territories.

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Rulings

  • POM Wonderful Loses Long Fight With FTC Over Deceptive Ads

    By Tony Mauro

    The Federal Trade Commission has finally prevailed in a long-running dispute with POM Wonderful over allegedly misleading claims about the health benefits of the company’s pomegranate products.

  • An Unusual Divide Hands Victory to Criminal Defense Bar

    By Marcia Coyle

    Prosecutors are barred from freezing criminal defendants’ assets unconnected to their alleged crimes and needed to hire defense counsel of choice, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday in a decision that crossed its liberal-conservative divide.

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Courtside

  • When it Comes to Books on Supreme Court, Fiction Rivals Truth

    By Tony Mauro

    Writing about the U.S. Supreme Court—both fiction and nonfiction—is a growing genre, but it has its pitfalls and challenges. Five authors gathered recently to discuss their work and experiences. Georgetown's Supreme Court Institute hosted the event, and C-SPAN's Book TV aired the panel discussion on April 23.

  • In Second Round of 'David v. Goliath' Copyright Case, David Wants Legal Fees

    By Marcia Coyle

    It was a David versus Goliath battle on the field of copyright law. David emerged victorious with a little help from the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013. Now David wants more than $2 million in attorney fees. The biblical analogy came from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during Monday's high court arguments in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons. And just like three years ago, the justices did not seem satisfied with either argument.

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