Supreme Court Round-Up: A Summary of Recent Opinions, Upcoming Arguments, and Other Developments – May 11, 2011

May 11, 2011

As the Supreme Court enters the homestretch of this Term and approaches its busiest season for issuing opinions, Gibson Dunn’s Supreme Court Round-Up is summarizing key developments at the Court.  Since the last edition of the Round-Up, the Court has issued opinions in the following argued cases:

  • AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion: The Court held that Californias judicially imposed rule classifying most collective-arbitration waivers in consumer contracts as unconscionable was preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act.
  • Sossamon v. Texas: The Court held that a States acceptance of federal funds did not constitute a waiver of its sovereign immunity from private suits for money damages under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000.
  • Virginia Office for Protection & Advocacy v. Stewart: The Court held that Ex parte Young, 209 U.S. 123 (1908), allows a federal court to hear a lawsuit for prospective relief against state officials brought by another agency of the same State.
  • Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn; Garriott v. Winn: The Court held that taxpayers lacked standing to bring an Establishment Clause challenge to an Arizona Tax Code provision allowing tax credits for contributions to school tuition organizations, where the contributions are used to provide scholarships to students attending private schools, many of which are religious.
  • Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. v. Siracusano: In this case, Petitioners allegedly received reports that individuals who used their over-the-counter intranasal cold remedy lost their sense of smell.  The Court rejected a bright-line rule that the failure to disclose these reports was immaterial because the reports did not achieve a level of statistical significance.  Rather, the Court explained, materiality is a "fact-specific inquiry that requires consideration of the source, content, and context of the reports."
  • Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastic: The Court held that the phrase "filed any complaint" in the antiretaliation provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 215(a)(3), includes oral, as well as written, complaints.
  • United States v. Tohono Oodham Nation: The Court held that 28 U.S.C. § 1500 precludes the Court of Federal Claims from exercising jurisdiction over a suit if the plaintiffs have a second action against the United States already pending before another court that is "based on substantially the same operative facts," even if the two claims seek different relief.
  • Astra USA, Inc. v. Santa Clara County: The Court held that § 340B of the Public Health Services Act, 42 U.S.C. § 256b (Oct. 2010 Supp.), which caps sale prices of drugs to certain health care facilities, does not permit those facilities to sue as third-party beneficiaries of the pricing agreements.
  • Connick v. Thompson: The Court held that a district attorneys office may not be held liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for failing to train its prosecutors based on a single violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963).
  • Cullen v. Pinholster: The Court concluded that in cases where there has been a full adjudication of claims on the merits in state court, the record under review for 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1) petitions is limited to the record that was before the state court.  In addition, the Court held that Petitioner was not entitled to habeas relief.
  • Montana v. Wyoming: The Court held that Montana failed to state a claim that Wyoming had breached Article V(A) of the Yellowstone River Compact.

Spearheaded by former Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson, the Round-Up keeps clients apprised of the Court’s most recent actions.  The Round-Up previews cases scheduled for argument, tracks the actions of the Office of the Solicitor General, and recaps recent opinions.  The Round-Up provides a concise, substantive analysis of the Court’s actions.  Its easy-to-use format allows the reader to identify what is on the Court’s docket at any given time, and to see what issues the Court will be taking up next.  The Round-Up is the ideal resource for busy practitioners seeking an in-depth, timely, and objective report on the Court’s actions. 

To view the Round-Up, click here.  

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP 

Gibson Dunn’s Appellate and Constitutional Law Practice Group is one of the nation’s leading appellate practices.  In recognition of its achievements, Gibson Dunn was named the 2010 Litigation Department of the Year by American Lawyer, with the appellate practice described as "perhaps the firm’s greatest asset."  The preeminence of Gibson Dunn’s Appellate Group is also underscored by its placement on The National Law Journal’s 2008 through 2011 "Appellate Hot List," a survey of top appellate law practices.

Gibson Dunn has a strong and high-profile presence before the Supreme Court of the United States, appearing numerous times in the past decade in a variety of cases on behalf of the nation’s leading corporations, U.S. states, presidential candidates, and others.  Gibson Dunn has had more than 100 Supreme Court arguments among the firm’s active lawyers.  Moreover, while the grant rate for certiorari petitions is below 1%, Gibson Dunn’s certiorari petitions have captured the Court’s attention:  Gibson Dunn has persuaded the Court to grant its certiorari petitions nearly forty percent of the time in the last five years.

Gibson Dunn’s lawyers are available to assist in addressing any questions you may have regarding developments at the Supreme Court.  Please feel free to contact the following attorneys in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, or any member of the Appellate and Constitutional Law Practice Group.

Theodore B. Olson (202.955.8500, [email protected])
Amir C. Tayrani (202.887.3692, [email protected])
Ryan J. Watson (202.955.8295, [email protected])

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