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Author: The Federalist Society

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SCOTUScast is a project of the Federalist Society for Law & Public Policy Studies. This audio broadcast series provides expert commentary on U.S. Supreme Court cases as they are argued and issued. The Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker. We hope these broadcasts, like all of our programming, will serve to stimulate discussion and further exchange regarding important current legal issues. View our entire SCOTUScast archive at http://www.federalistsociety.org/SCOTUScast
359 Episodes
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On June 3, 2021 the Supreme Court decided Van Buren v. United States. The issue was whether a person who is authorized to access information on a computer for certain purposes violates Section 1030(a)(2) of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act if he accesses the same information for an improper purpose.In a 6-3 opinion authored by Justice Barrett, the Court reversed the ruling of the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and remanded the case. The Supreme Court held, “An individual ‘exceeds authorized access’ under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2), when he accesses a computer with authorization but then obtains information located in particular areas of the computer — such as files, folders or databases — that are off-limits to him..”Justice Thomas filed a dissenting opinion, in which Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito joined.Orin Kerr, Professor of Law at UC Berkeley Law, joins us today to discuss this decision and its implications.
On May 24, 2021 the Supreme Court decided United States v. Palomar-Santiago. The issue was whether a defendant who was removed from the United States is automatically entitled to a defense of invalid removal where the crime underlying his removal is no longer a qualifying removal offense within his circuit.In a 9-0 opinion authored by Justice Sotomayor, the Court reversed the ruling of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and remanded the case. The Supreme Court held, “Each of 8 U.S.C. § 1326(d)’s statutory requirements for bringing a collateral attack on a prior deportation order is mandatory.”Brian Fish, Special Assistant to the United States Attorney in Baltimore, MD, joins us today to discuss this decision and its implications.
On June 1, 2021 the Supreme Court decided United States v. Cooley. The issue was whether the lower courts erred in suppressing evidence on the theory that a police officer of an Indian tribe lacked authority to temporarily detain and search the respondent, Joshua James Cooley, a non-Indian, on a public right-of-way within a reservation based on a potential violation of state or federal law.In a 9-0 opinion authored by Justice Breyer, the Court vacated the ruling of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and remanded. The Supreme Court held, “A tribal police officer has authority to detain temporarily and to search a non-Native American traveling on a public right-of-way running through a reservation for potential violations of state or federal law.”Justice Alito filed a concurring opinion. Anthony Ferate, Of Counsel at Spencer Fane LLP, joins us today to discuss the Court’s decision and its implications.
On June 1, 2021 the Supreme Court decided City of San Antonio, Texas v. Hotels.com L.P. The issue was whether, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit alone has held, district courts “lack[] discretion to deny or reduce” appellate costs deemed “taxable” in district court under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 39(e).In a 9-0 opinion authored by Justice Alito, the Court affirmed the ruling of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The Supreme Court held, “Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 39 does not permit a district court to alter a court of appeals’ allocation of the costs listed in subdivision (e) of that rule.”Charles Campbell, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Law at Faulkner University’s Jones School of Law, joins us today to discuss this decision and its implications.
On April 22, 2021 the Supreme Court decided Carr v. Saul. was whether a claimant seeking disability benefits under the Social Security Act forfeits an Appointments Clause challenge to the appointment of an administrative law judge by failing to present that challenge during administrative proceedings.In a 9-0 opinion authored by Justice Sotomayor, the Court reversed the ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and remanded the case. The Supreme Court held, “Principles of issue exhaustion do not require Social Security disability claimants to argue at the agency level that the administrative law judges hearing their disability claims were unconstitutionally appointed.”Justice Thomas filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, in which Justices Gorsuch and Barrett joined. Justice Breyer filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.Thomas Berry, Research Fellow at the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies of Cato Institute and Managing Editor of the Cato Supreme Court Review, joins us today to discuss this decision and its implications.
On May 17, 2021 the Supreme Court decided BP P.L.C. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore.The issue was was whether 28 U.S.C. 1447(d) permits a court of appeals to review any issue encompassed in a district court’s order remanding a removed case to state court when the removing defendant premised removal in part on the federal-officer removal statute, 28 U.S.C. 1442, or the civil-rights removal statute, 28 U.S.C. 1443.In a 7-1 opinion authored by Justice Gorsuch, the Court vacated the ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, holding, “Where defendant energy companies premised 28 U. S. C. § 1447(d) removal in part on the federal officer removal statute, Section 1442, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit erred in holding that it lacked jurisdiction to consider all grounds for removal rejected by the district court.”Justice Sotomayor filed a dissenting opinion. Justice Alito took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.Karen Harned, Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center, joins us to discuss this decision.
On May 17, 2021 the Supreme Court decided Edwards v. Vannoy. The issue was whether the Supreme Court’s decision in Ramos v. Louisiana applies retroactively to cases on federal collateral review.In a 6-3 opinion authored by Justice Kavanaugh, the Court affirmed the ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, holding, “The jury-unanimity rule announced in Ramos v. Louisiana does not apply retroactively on federal collateral review.”Justice Thomas filed a concurring opinion, in which Justice Gorsuch joined. Justice Gorsuch filed a concurring opinion, in which Justice Thomas joined. Justice Kagan filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Breyer and Sotomayor joined.Kent Scheidegger, Legal Director & General Counsel at the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, joins us to discuss this decision and its implications.
On April 22, 2021 the Supreme Court decided Jones v. Mississippi. The issue was whether the Eighth Amendment requires the sentencing authority to make a finding that a juvenile is permanently incorrigible before imposing a sentence of life without parole. In a 6-3 opinion authored by Justice Kavanaugh, the Court affirmed the ruling of the Supreme Court of Mississippi, holding, “The Eighth Amendment does not require a finding that a juvenile is permanently incorrigible before imposing a sentence of life without parole.”Justice Thomas filed an opinion concurring in the judgment. Justice Sotomayor filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Breyer and Kagan joined.Marc Levin, Chief Policy Counsel for the Council on Criminal Justice and Senior Advisor of Right on Crime, joins us today to discuss this case and its implications.
On April 1, 2021 the Supreme Court decided Facebook Inc. v. Duguid. The issue was whether the definition of an "automatic telephone dialing system" in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 encompasses any device that can “store” and “automatically dial” telephone numbers, even if the device does not “us[e] a random or sequential number generator.”In a 9-0 opinion authored by Justice Sotamayor, the Court reversed the ruling of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and remanded the case. The Supreme Court held, “To qualify as an ‘automatic telephone dialing system’ under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, a device must have the capacity either to store, or to produce, a telephone number using a random or sequential number generator.” This decision narrows the federal robocoll ban. Scott D. Delacourt, Partner at Wiley Rein LLP and Daniel Lyons, Professor of Law at Boston College School of Law, joins us today for a conversation moderated by Danielle Thumann, Attorney Advisor for FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr.
On April 28, 2021 the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. The question before the court was whether Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, which holds that public school officials may regulate speech that would materially and substantially disrupt the work and discipline of the school, applies to student speech that occurs off campus. Michael Dimino, Professor of Law at Widener University Commonwealth Law School, joins us today to discuss this case's oral argument.
On April 21, 2021 the Supreme Court heard oral argument in City of San Antonio v. Hotels.com. The question before the Court was whether, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit alone has held, district courts “lack[] discretion to deny or reduce” appellate costs deemed “taxable” in district court under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 39(e).Charles Campbell, Associate Professor of Law and Interim Dean at Faulkner University's Jones School of Law, joins us today to discuss this case's oral argument.
On May 17, 2021 the Supreme Court decided Caniglia v. Strom. The issue was whether the “community caretaking” exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement extends to the home. In a 9-0 opinion authored by Justice Thomas, the Court vacated the ruling of the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and remanded the case. The Supreme Court held, “Neither the holding nor logic of Cady v. Dombrowski justifies the removal of Edward Caniglia’s firearms from his home by police officers under a ‘community caretaking exception’ to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement."Chief Justice Roberts filed a concurring opinion, in which Justice Breyer joined. Justices Alito and Kavanaugh also filed concurring opinions.Robert Frommer, Senior Attorney at the Institute for Justice, joins us to discuss this decision and its implications.
On April 21, 2021 the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Minerva Surgical Inc. v. Hologic Inc. The question before the Court was whether a defendant in a patent infringement action who assigned the patent, or is in privity with an assignor of the patent, may have a defense of invalidity heard on the merits.Daniel Ortiz, Michael J. and Jane R. Horvitz Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law, joins us today to discuss this case's oral argument.
On April 20, 2021 the Supreme Court heard oral argument in United States v. Gary. The question before the Court was whether a defendant who pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm as a felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1) and 924(a), is automatically entitled to plain-error relief if the district court did not advise him that one element of that offense is knowledge of his status as a felon, regardless of whether he can show that the district court’s error affected the outcome of the proceedings.Robert Leider, Assistant Professor of law at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, joins us today to discuss this case's oral argument.
On May 4, 2021 the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Terry v. United States. The question before the court was whether pre-August 3, 2010, crack offenders sentenced under 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C) have a “covered offense” under Section 404 of the First Step Act. Vikrant Reddy, Senior Reserch Fellow at the Charles Koch Institute, joins us today to discuss this case's oral argument.
On April 19, 2021 the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Sanchez v. Mayorkas. The question before the court was under 8 U.S.C. § 1254a(f)(4), a grant of temporary protected status authorizes eligible noncitizens to obtain lawful-permanent-resident status under 8 U.S.C. § 1255.Hon. Grover Joseph Rees joins us today to dicsuss this case's oral argument.
On March 23, 2021 the Supreme Court heard oral argument in United States v. Cooley. The question before the court was whether the lower courts erred in suppressing evidence on the theory that a police officer of an Indian tribe lacked authority to temporarily detain and search the respondent, Joshua James Cooley, a non-Indian, on a public right-of-way within a reservation based on a potential violation of state or federal law.Anthony J. Ferate, Of Counsel at Spencer Fane LLP, joins us today to discuss this case's oral argument.
On April 1, 2021, the Supreme Court decided Florida v. Georgia, an ongoing case of original jurisdiction involving Florida’s desire to limit the amount of water that Georgia uses in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin. Justice Barrett, writing for the 9-0 majority, dismissed the case, holding that Florida failed to establish that Georgia’s overconsumption of interstate waters was either a substantial factor contributing to, or the sole cause of, Florida’s injuries.Tony Francois, Senior Attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation, joins us today to discuss the court’s decision in this case.
On March 29, 2021 the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Goldman Sachs Group Inc. v. Arkansas Teacher Retirement System. The questions before the court were whether, first, a defendant in a securities class action may rebut the presumption of classwide reliance recognized in Basic Inc. v. Levinson by pointing to the generic nature of the alleged misstatements in showing that the statements had no impact on the price of the security, even though that evidence is also relevant to the substantive element of materiality; and, second, whether a defendant seeking to rebut the Basic presumption has only a burden of production or also the ultimate burden of persuasion.Ted Frank, Director at the Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute and the Center for Class Action Fairness, joins us today to discuss this case's oral argument.
On March 25, 2021, the Supreme Court decided Torres v. Madrid. This case arises out of an incident Roxanne Torres had with police officers in which she was operating a vehicle under the influence of methamphetamine and in the process of trying to get away, endangered the two officers pursuing her. In the process, one of the officers shot and injured her. Torres pleaded no contest to three crimes: (1) aggravated fleeing from a law enforcement officer, (2) assault on a police officer, and (3) unlawfully taking a motor vehicle.In October 2016, she filed a civil-rights complaint in federal court against the two officers, alleging claims including excessive force and conspiracy to engage in excessive force. Construing Torres’s complaint as asserting the excessive-force claims under the Fourth Amendment, the court concluded that the officers were entitled to qualified immunity. In the court’s view, the officers had not seized Torres at the time of the shooting, and without a seizure, there could be no Fourth Amendment violation. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed.In a 5-3 vote the Supreme Court vacated and remanded. The Court held that the application of physical force to the body of a person with intent to restrain is a seizure even if the person does not submit and is not subdued. Justice Roberts wrote the majority opinion. Justice Gorsuch filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Thomas and Alito joined. Justice Barrett took no part in the consideration or decision of this case. Kent Scheidegger, Legal Director and General Counsel, Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, joins us today to discuss this opinion.
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