Cross-posted at Forbes.com’s WLF contributor page
Washington Legal Foundation, along with other organizations, business, and individuals with an interest in the Supreme Court and free enterprise cases before it, watched with great anticipation this morning as the justices issued their first new list of certiorari grants since the Court adjourned last June (the so-called Long Conference). We came away from the big cert grant morning, as likely did many other interested parties, wanting more.
The orders list is here. The grants include a tax case, United States v. Quality Stores addressing whether severance payments made to employees whose employment was involuntarily terminated are taxable. Two other grants relate to the standard of review the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit uses when assessing a district court’s determination that a case is “exceptional” for purposes of imposing attorneys’ fees and other sanctions. Those cases are Octane Fitness v. Icon Health and Fitness and Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Management Systems Inc.
The final cert grant impacting free enterprise is Petrella v. MGM, which involves the movie Raging Bull and the defense of laches against claims of copyright infringement. Marcia Coyle at National Law Journal discussed the interesting facts of the case in a September 16 story.
The bigger story from the big cert grant morning was which petitions the Court did not act on. WLF filed amicus briefs in support of review in a number of the cases, which we’ll indicate below (all noted on SCOTUSblog’s “Petitions we Are Watching” page).
- Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Douglas (due process challenge to Florida law)
- Brennan v. Concord EFS (who is a “direct purchaser” for antitrust suits)
- Luminant Generation Company LLC v. Environmental Protection Agency (deference under Clean Air Act)
- Ring v. U.S. (honest services fraud)
- Medtronic v. Stengel (medical device preemption) (WLF amicus brief)
- U.S., ex rel. Noah Nathan v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America (pleading standards under False Claims Act)
- Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA greenhouse gas regulation; 1 of 9 similar petitions) (WLF amicus brief)
- American Beverage Association v. Snyder (discrimination against interstate commerce)
- Novartis v. Fussman (federal preemption of punitive damages in drug litigation) (WLF amicus brief)
Failure to act on these and other petitions does not mean that the Court cannot reconsider them in a future “conference,” and it does not mean that they have been denied. The Court will be issuing an order list on First Monday, October 7, but that order traditionally has only contained cert denials.