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Supreme Court takes up Microsoft data privacy, American Express antitrust cases

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in four cases, including a Microsoft data privacy case, and an American Express antitrust case.

In US v. Microsoft Corp. [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the court will focus on US attempts to gain access to data stored abroad from email providers. The US argues that a probable cause-based warrant to produce documents, such as emails, requires an individual or company to produce the specified materials within its control, regardless of whether those materials are stored abroad as granted by 18 USC ยง 2703 [text]. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that such practice was an impermissible use of authority.

In Ohio v. American Express Co. [docket; cert. petition, PDF], American Express contractually barred merchant customers from steering cardholder customers to credit cards with lower prices for merchants. The government argues that under Section 1 of the Sherman Act [text], American Express participated in anti-competitive practices by stifling competition among credit card companies and failed to establish any pro-competitive benefits. The US of Appeals for the Second Circuit, however, held [opinion, PDF] that the government had to show contractual provisions not only had anti-competitive effects, but those effects outweighed any benefits on the cardholder side in order to burden American Express with having to prove pro-competitive benefits.

In Dahda v. US [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the court must determine whether evidence must be suppressed when obtained through a wiretap facially insufficient because the judge who granted the order exceed his or her jurisdiction.

In Currier v. Va. [ docket; cert. petition, PDF], petitioner faced trial for breaking and entering and grand larceny, for which he was acquitted, Subsequently, he was charged with possession of a firearm after being convicted of a felony resulting from the facts of the same crime he was previously acquitted. Petitioner argued the issue preclusion [text] component of the Double Jeopardy [text] Clause barred it. The case, however, was allowed to proceed and he was convicted. The Virginia Court of Appeals [official website] affirmed his conviction, reasoning that although courts are divided over whether issue preclusion applies when a severance of charges has occurred, in this case it was to protect one from undue prejudice.

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