Category Archives: Supreme Court

Subscribe to Supreme Court RSS Feed

BNSF Railway: SCOTUS Narrows General Jurisdiction for Corporate Defendants and Limits the Reach of Wisconsin's Long-Arm Statute

Last week, in BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell, 581 U.S. ___, No. 16-405, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Montana Supreme Court and concluded that BNSF Railway was not subject to general jurisdiction in Montana to answer for alleged work-related injuries occurring in North Dakota and South Dakota. Though BNSF maintained over 2,000 miles of railroad … Continue reading this entry

Water Splash Reveals a Glaring Omission in Wisconsin's Service-of-Process Rules, Which Ought To Be Fixed

Today’s unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision in Water Splash, Inc. v. Menon, 581 U.S. ___, No. 16-254, points out a glaring omission in Wisconsin’s service-of-process rules that ought to be fixed, so that Wisconsin plaintiffs are not unnecessarily put at a disadvantage when suing overseas defendants in state court. Justice Samuel Alito’s decision, reversing the … Continue reading this entry

Midland Funding Highlights Peculiar Feature of Wisconsin's Statute-of-Limitations Law

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today in Midland Funding, LLC v. Johnson, 581 U.S. ___, No. 16-348, draws attention in passing to a peculiar feature of Wisconsin law on the effect of statutes of limitations. The 5-3 decision, in an opinion by Justice Stephen Breyer, holds that a debt collector that files a proof of … Continue reading this entry

Waiting for Gorsuch: SCOTUS Kicks Important Class-Action Waiver Case to Next Term

Last week, the United States Supreme Court informed litigants in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis that it is pushing the case to its October 2017 term. The lawsuit, which rose up through the Western District of Wisconsin and the Seventh Circuit, presents the High Court with a chance to resolve a robust circuit split on … Continue reading this entry

Supreme Court Calls for the Views of the Solicitor General in a Case That the 7th Circuit Could Not Review En Banc

Last summer, we wrote about a unique situation that arose in the case of Rubin v. Islamic Republic of Iran, No. 14-1935 (7th Cir. July 19, 2016), in which the Seventh Circuit found itself unable to assemble a “majority” of the judges in regular active service who were eligible to vote whether to rehear a case … Continue reading this entry

Judicial Internet Research: Does the First SCOTUS Decision of OT 2015 Bode Ill for Dr. Posner?

Regular readers of our blog likely are familiar with the Seventh Circuit’s recent decision in Rowe v. Gibson, No. 14-3316 (Aug. 19, 2015), and the considerable controversy that Judge Richard Posner created regarding the propriety of internet factual research by appellate courts. In short, Judge Posner relied on publicly available information on the web concerning … Continue reading this entry

Did Justice Thomas Foreshadow the Downfall of Obamacare in Baker Botts?

By no means do we think that we might reliably predict the outcome of such a politically charged case as King v. Burwell, No. 14-114, the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act. But for those who like to read tea leaves from the Supreme Court, section III.B.2 of the Court’s decision (released yesterday) in Baker Botts … Continue reading this entry

Shaking Down the Thunder From the Sky: Part 2 of Notre Dame's Challenge to the Contraception Mandate

For the second time in as many years, the Seventh Circuit has declined to grant Notre Dame’s request for an injunction exempting the university from the contraception requirements of the Affordable Care Act. We wrote about the first decision here. As was true back in 2014, the court remained skeptical of the link between Notre Dame’s … Continue reading this entry

Wisconsin Voter ID: Plaintiffs' Emergency Application to Justice Kagan Lacks a Key Element

The plaintiffs in Wisconsin’s Voter ID case yesterday filed an emergency application with Justice Kagan, the Circuit Justice assigned to the Seventh Circuit, seeking an order vacating the Seventh Circuit’s September 12 stay of Judge Adelman’s injunction against enforcement of the law, 2011 Wis. Act 23. Justice Kagan has called for a response from the … Continue reading this entry

Sarbanes-Oxley Casts a Wide Net, Literally

Congress passed Sarbanes-Oxley in 2002 to deal with the accounting scandals that resulted in the downfall of the likes of Enron, Tyco, Worldcom, Arthur Andersen, and others. In its October Term 2014, the Supreme Court will decide if the act’s anti-shredding provision applies to fish. That’s right, fish. Those slippery, gill-bearing aquatic animals. How did … Continue reading this entry

Supreme Court Denies Cert in Elmbrook School District v. Doe

In a somewhat surprising move, the U.S. Supreme Court today denied the Elmbrook (Wisconsin) School District’s petition for a writ of certiorari in Elmbrook School District v. Doe, No. 12-755, over the dissents of Justices Scalia and Thomas. The School District petitioned from the decision of an en banc panel of the United States Court … Continue reading this entry

Petrella v. MGM: Supreme Court Recognizes Limits on Laches

The word “laches” is from French, meaning “remissness” or “slackness.” One of the familiar equitable defenses, laches developed in chancery to prevent unreasonable delay in pursuing a right or claim, lest that delay prejudice the defendant. Normally equitable defenses can be applied broadly. “Equity” itself comes from the Latin “aequitas,” a concept of justice, equality, … Continue reading this entry

Dart Cherokee: SCOTUS to Hear Case on CAFA Pleading Requirements

The Supreme Court will now decide whether a 2006 Seventh Circuit decision on Class Action Fairness Act pleading requirements was correct. The Court granted certiorari today in a case that will resolve whether defendants filing removal notices under CAFA, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d), have to plead “evidence supporting their calculation” that the amount in controversy exceeds … Continue reading this entry

In re A&F Enterprises, Inc., II Has Something in Common with the Little Sisters of the Poor

The power of an appellate court in the federal system to stay the orders of lower courts or to enjoin conduct that lower courts have refused to enjoin, so as to preserve the appellate court’s jurisdiction to review those orders on ultimate appeal, is clearly established yet infrequently invoked. In addition to other potential sources, … Continue reading this entry

Unresolved Motion for Attorney's Fees Does Not Postpone Time for Appeal on the Merits, Regardless of Source of Fee Entitlement

Budinich v. Becton Dickinson & Co., 486 U.S. 196 (1988), established that a district court’s decision resolving the merits of a case is final for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 1291 and must be appealed within 30 days, even if an unresolved motion for attorney’s fees is pending in the district court. In Budinich, the source … Continue reading this entry

Elmbrook School District v. Doe: The Court Takes No Action on the Cert Petition

To update our earlier post on this case:  The Court took no action on Elmbrook School District’s cert petition in its April 15, 2013 order.  The case has been relisted for the April 19, 2013 conference.  You can access the Court’s docket for the case here.  If the Court  decides the petition this time, it … Continue reading this entry

Elmbrook School District v. Doe: Will the U.S. Supreme Court Rule on the Constitutionality of Holding Public High School Graduations in Elmbrook Church?

During its conference this Friday, April 12, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to consider Elmbrook School District’s petition for a writ of certiorari seeking reversal of a decision issued last summer by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Doe v. Elmbrook School District, 687 F.3d 840 (7th Cir. 2012).… Continue reading this entry

Malpractice Cases Against Patent Lawyers Stay in State Court, as Supreme Court Continues to Refine Reach of Grable

In the course of deciding that malpractice cases against patent lawyers belong in state courts (when there is no diversity of citizenship), the United States Supreme Court has issued an important ruling on the scope of “federal question” jurisdiction over claims arising under state law. Gunn v. Minton, No. 11-1118 (Feb. 20, 2013).… Continue reading this entry

Del Marcelle: The Standard for Assessing Class-of-One Equal-Protection Claims Remains Unresolved in the Seventh Circuit

With the Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari on November 26, 2012, in Del Marcelle v. Brown County Corp., No. 12-367, the Seventh Circuit’s inability to resolve the standard by which class-of-one equal-protection claims should be assessed will likely persist for some time. The Seventh Circuit had heard the case en banc to resolve the conflicted … Continue reading this entry

Marmet Health Care Center, Inc. v. Brown: Another Lesson in the FAA's Preemption

Ignoring established precedent from a superior tribunal is one way for a court to earn a sharp rebuke from a higher court. And that is precisely what happened in a consolidated decision today in Marmet Health Care Center, Inc. v. Brown, No. 11-391, and in Clarksburg Nursing Home & Rehabilitation Center LLC v. Marchio, No. 11-394, … Continue reading this entry

United States v. Jones: Government’s Placing of GPS Tracking Device on Car is a Fourth Amendment Search

The United States Supreme Court today held that the government’s placement of a GPS tracking device on a car while it was parked in a public parking lot was a search for Fourth Amendment purposes. The decision, written by Justice Scalia, makes clear that the Fourth Amendment’s protection against government trespass survives the “reasonable expectation of … Continue reading this entry