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Supreme court takes 5 cases for next term

The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in five cases slated for argument during the October 2014 term. In Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk [SCOTUSblog backgrounder], the court will address whether time spent passing through post-work security screenings is compensable in the form of overtime pay pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act [text]. On appeal from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website], the plaintiffs are warehouse workers at various sorting facilities connected to online retailer Amazon.com [corporate website] who were required to pass through security screening procedures after work without pay.

In Omnicare, Inc. v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund [SCOTUSblog backgrounder], the court will address a circuit split with respect to whether plaintiffs can plead that a statement of opinion is "untrue" for purposes of the Security Act of 1933 [text] by alleging that the opinion itself is objectively wrong, or whether plaintiffs must also allege that the statement was subjectively false, which requires allegations that the speaker's actual opinion was different from the one expressed. Petitioner Omnicare [corporate website] is a publicly traded corporation that is the US' largest provider of pharmaceutical care services for the elderly. Respondents are a class of investors who allege Omnicare issued them stock under a registration statement with "an untrue statement of a material fact."

In Warger v. Shauers [SCOTUSblog backgrounder], the court will address whether Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b) [text] permits a party, seeking a new trial on the basis of juror dishonesty during voir dire, to introduce juror testimony with respect to statements made during deliberations that tend to show the alleged dishonesty. During voir dire in a personal injury suit, a potential juror pledged to remain impartial but later revealed her bias toward the defendant during jury deliberations. Another juror submitted an affidavit detailing the juror's statements, and the plaintiff sought a new trial. The US Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit [official website] affirmed the district court's order, denying the plaintiff a new trial.

In North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission [SCOTUSblog backgrounder], the court will examine whether, for purposes of the state-action exemption from federal antitrust law, an official state regulatory board created by state law may properly be treated as a "private" actor because, pursuant to state law, a majority of the board's members are also market participants who are elected to their official positions by other market participants. This case stems from a US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] decision, in which the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) [official website] filed an administrative complaint alleging anticompetitive activities against a North Carolina board of dentistry after it ordered unlicensed practitioners to cease and desist from providing teeth-whitening services in the state.

In Holt v. Hobbs[SCOTUSblog backgrounder], the court will address whether the Arkansas Department of Corrections [official website] "no beard growing" policy violates the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) [text] or the First Amendment, and whether a half-inch beard would satisfy the security goals sought by this policy. The petitioner is a Muslim male detained in the state's prison who sought to enjoin the state from requiring that he shave his beard on grounds that he is exempt from the policy because of his religion. In a handwritten pro se petition for certiorari, the petitioner sought the court's review after the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit [official website] ruled that the district court did not err when it refused to recognize the petitioner's argument for a religious exception exemption from the state's policy.

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