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The Hot Cases Before the U.S. Supreme Court this Term

Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!: First Monday
What are the hot cases before the U.S. Supreme Court this term?

The Rudman Center invites you to lunch and a conversation with UNH Law Faculty about some of the most significant cases facing the Court this term.

A term of the Supreme Court begins, by statute, on the first Monday in October. Usually Court sessions continue until late June or early July. The term is divided between "sittings," when the Justices hear cases and deliver opinions, and intervening "recesses," when they consider the business before the court and write opinions. The 2013-2014 U.S. Supreme Court begins Monday, October 7, 2013. Prior to every session, the Marshal of the Court intones, "Oyez, oyez, oyez!"

Please RSVP:

Summary of the cases to be discussed:

Massey, Calvin

Professor Calvin Massey will discuss two constitutional law cases before the Court this term. In Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, the Court is being asked to determine if the State of Michigan has violated the Equal Protection clause of the U.S Constitution by amending the state constitution to prohibit race and sex based discrimination or preferential treatment in public university admissions decisions.

The second case is In Town of Greece v. Galloway and in this case the court will decide if a city’s decision to open up town hall meetings with a prayer violates the Establishment clause.  The Supreme Court will now have to answer this question: Knowing that Greece officials didn’t openly discriminate against non-Christians or purposely use the prayers as a tool for proselytization, was it still unconstitutional of them to have all those Christian invocation speakers? Does what happen give the impression that they’re promoting a particular religion and faith over no-faith?

Kirkland, Kimberly

Professor Kimberly Kirkland will be discussing a case involving the rules of civil procedure.

DaimlerChrysler is a German company who was sued in federal court in California for alleged human rights violations in Argentina for actions by a subsidiary in that country.

The basis for suing the company in the U.S. was that it has another subsidiary that sells the company’s autos in California. The issue in DaimlerChrysler AG v. Bauman is whether a corporation may be sued based solely on the fact that it has an indirect, corporate subsidiary that provides some services where the case was filed.

McCabe, Margaret Sova

Professor Margaret McCabe will discuss NLRB v. Noel Canning. In this case the Court will analyze the scope and extent of the President's Recess-Appointment Power.

This case is interesting because it highlights the current tension between the legislative and executive branches concerning Presidential appointments and illustrates how that tension can hobble the executive branch's ability to adjudicate disputes between management and labor.

Frerking, Christopher

Professor Chris Frerking will be discussing the case Medlmmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc.

The Supreme Court has ruled that a patent licensee that believes its products don't infringe the patent isn't required to break or terminate its license agreement before seeking a declaratory judgment of non-infringement. The question presented in Medtronic is whether, in such an action brought by a licensee, the licensee has the burden of proving its products don't infringe the patent, or whether (as in all other patent litigation, including other declaratory judgment actions), the patentee must prove infringement.

Plunkett, Leah

Professor Leah Plunkett will discuss two cases before the Court this term.

First, Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice is poised to be one of this term’s “sleeper hits.” On the surface, it appears to be a rather technical question about legal requirements imposed on doctors when prescribing drugs “off-label,” but Cline actually could be of huge significance: the Supreme Court could re-visit and possibly overturn the constitutional framework in place under Casey that controls when, how, and to what extent the state can regulate women’s access to abortion.

Second, in Paroline v. U.S., the Court will consider whether it is legal and constitutional to make defendants convicted of child pornography crimes pay restitution for any and all harms to victims pictured in the illegal images—regardless of whether or not the defendants’ actions proximately caused these harms.

Greabe, John

Professor John Greabe will discuss two constitutional cases before the court this term. In Bond v. U.S. the questions presented are:

(1) Whether the Constitution’s structural limits on federal authority impose any constraints on the scope of Congress’ authority to enact legislation to implement a valid treaty, at least in circumstances where the federal statute, as applied, goes far beyond the scope of the treaty, intrudes on traditional state prerogatives, and is concededly unnecessary to satisfy the government’s treaty obligations; and

(2) whether the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act, 18 U.S.C. § 229, can be interpreted not to reach ordinary poisoning cases, which have been adequately handled by state and local authorities since the Framing, in order to avoid the difficult constitutional questions involving the scope of and continuing vitality of this Court’s decision in Missouri v. Holland. In McCullen v. Coakley the questions presented are:

      (1) Whether the First Circuit erred in upholding Massachusetts’s selective exclusion law – which makes it a crime for speakers other than clinic “employees or agents . . . acting within the scope of their employment” to “enter or remain on a public way or sidewalk” within thirty-five feet of an entrance, exit, or driveway of “a reproductive health care facility” – under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, on its face and as applied to petitioners;

      (2) Whether, if Hill v. Colorado permits enforcement of this law, Hill should be limited or overruled.

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