The US Supreme Court [official website] on Friday granted certiorari to 16 new cases [order]. The Court granted review on a variety of civil and criminal cases. The civil cases include both substantive and procedural questions.
Substantively, in Sandoz, Inc. v. Amgen, Inc. and Amgen, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc. the Court will review the process for settling patent disputes on biologics such as vaccines and viruses. In National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense, the Court will decide whether a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule defining “waters of the United States” should originate in the federal district courts or federal courts of appeals. The Court will decide the same initial-appeal level issue in Perry v. Merit Systems Protection Board, which involves a challenge to a decision by the board on an adverse employment action and claims alleging violations of federal anti-discrimination laws. The issue in Henson v. Santander Consumer USA, Inc. [SCOTUSblog backgrounders] is whether a firm that purchases debt after it has defaulted is considered a debt collector for the purposes of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The Court also granted certiorari to determine procedural issues. The Court will hear consolidated argument in National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris and Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis. In these cases, the Court will decide whether agreements to resolve employer-employee disputes individually through arbitration, foregoing class-action status, violates the Federal Arbitration Act. Another procedural question will be decided in Kokesh v. SEC, which will determine whether the five-year statute of limitations in 28 U.S.C. § 2462 applies to claims of disgorgement. In California Public Employees’ Retirement System v. ANZ Securities, Inc., the Court will determine the proper time for filing an individual securities fraud action related to a securities fraud class action. BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell asks the Court whether a Montana state court may exercise general personal jurisdiction over a US citizen from a foreign state in violation of that Court’s ruling in Daimler AG v. Bauman. And in Town of Chester v. Laroe Estates, Inc. [SCOTUSblog backgrounders], the Court will be asked whether intervenors in a lawsuit must have independent standing to sue.
In the criminal realm, the Court will determine in Weaver v. Massachusetts whether a structural error in a criminal case caused by inadequate representation also requires the defendant to prove prejudice to be appealable. In Maslenjak v. U.S. the Court will determine whether a naturalized US citizen can be stripped of citizenship based on an immaterial false statement in a criminal proceeding. In McWilliams v. Dunn, the Court will review its decision in Ake v. Oklahoma to determine whether that case’s guarantee of an expert to assist indigent defendants with trial preparation requires that the expert be independent of the prosecution. And finally the Court in Davila v. Davis [SCOTUSblog backgrounders] will determine if prior Court precedent holding that ineffective assistance of state habeas counsel can overcome state procedural default on such claims (where the state has a rule requiring such claims to be brought collateral to an initial appeal), thereby allowing a federal court to hear such claims for the first time, should extend to claims of ineffective assistance of appeals counsel.