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Supreme Court Litigation Clinic

Recent Filings and Developments

  • February 25, 2014: Court rules 6-3 against clinic's client in Fernandez v. California, holding that the police may search an arrestee's home based on the consent of a co-tenant even when the arrestee told the police before arrested that he refused such consent. See coverage in The New York Times and SCOTUSBlog.
  • January 17, 2014: Court grants clinic's cert petition in Riley v. California, presenting the question whether, or under what circumstances, the Fourth Amendment permits the police to conduct a warrantless search of the digital contents of a person's cell phone seized during an arrest. See coverage in the The New York Times.
  • January 14, 2014: Court rules against clinic's clients in Daimler AG v. Bauman, holding that a foreign corporation is not subject to U.S. jurisdiction for injuries allegedly incurred outside of this country. See coverage in the New York Times and on SCOTUSblog.
  • December 17, 2013: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Medina v. Arizona, presenting the question whether the prosecution in a criminal case may introduce a forensic autopsy report of the victim without putting the pathologist who conducted the autopsy and wrote the report on the stand for cross-examination.
  • December 13, 2013: Court grants Clinic's petition for certiorari in Loughrin v. United States, involving the state of mind necessary to violate the federal bank fraud statute.
  • November 13, 2013: Clinic files a petition for certiorari in Heien v. North Carolina, presenting the issue whether a police officer's mistake of law can justify a traffic stop under the Fourth Amendment.
  • October 25, 2013: Clinic files a merits brief on behalf of respondent in Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation v. Hoeper, arguing the Aviation and Transportation Security Act does not withhold immunity from defendants who make disclosures in bad faith – even if the disclosures are materially false.
  • October 21, 2013: Clinic files a petition for writ of certiorari in Hoagland v. Ada County, Idaho, et al., which asks the Court to resolve a conflict among the lower courts to the question: when the violation of an individual’s constitutional rights causes a person’s death, can a Section 1983 claim arising from that violation be maintained, despite contrary state abatement rules?
  • October 16, 2013: Clinic files a petition for a writ of certiorari in Brewington v. North Carolina, which asks whether the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment permits a forensic analyst who did not observe or participate in any of the forensic testing at issue to tell the jury the conclusions that another analyst set forth in a testimonial forensic report – so long as the testifying analyst offers an “independent opinion” that, based on reviewing the other analyst’s report and notes, she agrees with other analyst’s conclusions.
    September 9, 2013: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Loughrin v. United States, concerning the state of mind required to violate the federal bank fraud statute.
  • August 30, 2013: Clinic files amicus brief in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action on behalf of constitutional and local government law scholars, contending that a state violates the Equal Protection Clause when it forbids local decision makers from legally considering race as a factor in higher education admissions but continues to allow such decision makers to consider other personal and experiential traits.
  • August 19, 2013: Clinic files merits brief on behalf of respondent in DaimlerChrysler v. Bauman, arguing that the Due Process Clause allows an American court to assert general jurisdiction over a foreign corporation based on its subsidiary's presence in the United States and the foreign corporation's control over the subsidiary.
  • July 31, 2013: Clinic files opening brief on the merits in Fernandez v. California, arguing that the Fourth Amendment does not allow the police to conduct a warrantless search of a person's home if the person expressly objects to such a search before being arrested and removed from the premises - even if the person's co-tenant would grant the police permission to do so.
  • July 30, 2013: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Riley v. California, raising the question whether or under what circumstances the Fourth Amendment allows the police to search the digital contents of a cell phone incident to the arrest of a person.
  • June 26, 2013: Court rules in favor of clinic's client in United States v. Windsor, holding that the section of the Defense of Marriage Act barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages violated the Fifth Amendment's Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses. See coverage in The New York Times and SCOTUSBlog.
  • June 25, 2013: Court rules 5-4 against the clients the clinic represented as amici -- the bipartisan leadership of the House Judiciary Committee who had been instrumental in the re-enactment of the Voting Rights Act -- in Shelby County v. Holder. Justice Ginsburg's dissent borrowed extensively from the clinic's brief. See coverage in The New York Times and SCOTUSBlog.
  • June 24, 2013: Court votes 7-1 in Fisher v. University of Texas to vacate the lower court's decision upholding the University's race-conscious admissions plan. The clinic filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Association of American Law Schools defending the need in certain circumstances to engage in race-conscious admissions. See coverage in SCOTUSBlog.
  • June 20, 2013: Court votes 8-1 in Descamps v. United States to adopt the reading of the Armed Career Criminal Act that the clinic advocated in an amicus brief for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers -- namely, that certain relatively minor prior convictions to not trigger the Act's hefty sentence enhancements. See coverage in SCOTUSBlog.
  • June 17, 2013: Court votes 7-2 in Arizona v. Inter-Tribal Council in favor of the position that the clinic advocated in an amicus brief filed on behalf of various veterans, elderly and student groups -- namely, that a state may not require proof of citizenship beyond that which federal law requires in order to register to vote. See coverage in The New York Times and SCOTUSBlog.
  • June 17, 2013: Court rules 5-4 against clinic's client in Salinas v. Texas, holding that the prosecution did not violate the Fifth Amendment's Self-Incrimination Clause by introducing at trial and commenting on the defendant's silence during a pre-arrest interview with the police. See coverage in the New York Times, SCOTUSBlog, and Slate.
  • April 23, 2013: Court rules for the clinic's client in Moncrieffe v. Holder, holding that a state-law conviction for what may have been nothing more than social sharing of marijuana is not an "aggravated felony" that requires automatic deportation. See coverage in the New York Times and SCOTUSBlog.
  • March 20, 2013: Court rules against clinic's client in Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center, 133 S. Ct. ___ (2013), holding that while the client had the right to bring its case in federal court, EPA's substantive view that no permits are required for discharges of polluted storm water runoff from logging roads into navigable waters is reasonable and thus entitled to deference.   See coverage on SCOTUSBlog and the New York Times.
  • February 25, 2013: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Donaldson v. Dept. of Homeland Security, presenting the question whether federal agencies violate federal law when they cancel job openings for the purpose of avoiding hiring veterans that Congress has deemed eligible for the jobs.
  • February 20, 2013: Court rules against clinic's client in Chaidez v. United States, holding that persons whose lawyers failed to advise them that pleading guilty to a crime would subject them to deportation are not generally entitled to retroactive benefit of the Court's 2010 decision holding that such a failure to warn constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel. At the same time, the Court leaves open potential alternative avenues of relief. See coverage in the New York Times and SCOTUSBlog.
  • January 15, 2013: The Court rules in favor of Clinic's client in Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, holding that a floating home is not a "vessel" and thus is not subject to federal maritime decision. See coverage in the New York Times and SCOTUSBlog.
  • January 11, 2013: The Court grants Clinic's petition for certiorari in Salinas v. Texas, which presents the question whether the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination precludes the prosecution from arguing in a criminal case that a person's refusal to answer police questions before he was arrested is evidence of guilt.
  • December 7, 2012: Court grants petition for certiorari in Windsor v. United States, in which clinic is co-counsel for the petitioner.  The case presents the question whether the Defense of Marriage Act violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment insofar as it refuses to recognize that gay couples who are married under state law are legally married for purposes of federal law.  See coverage in the New York Times.
  • October 16, 2012: Clinic, in conjunction with the Environmental Law Clinic, files brief on the merits in Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center, arguing that the Clean Water Act's permit system applies to man-made conveyances that collect polluted storm water from logging roads and discharge it into navigable waters.
  • August 24, 2012: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Salinas v. Texas, presenting the question whether the Fifth Amendment protects a person's refusal to answer law enforcement's questions before he has been arrested or read his Miranda rights.
  • August 21, 2012: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Pleau v. United States, involving whether the federal government may obtain temporary custody of a state prisoner over a state's objection in order to seek the death penalty against him.
  • June 13, 2012: In Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., et al., Clinic files amicus brief on behalf of the Center for Justice and Accountability and several victims of human rights abuses, urging the Court to construe the Alien Tort Statute to continue to permit victims of human rights abuses abroad to sue individuals who committed such abuses at least when such individuals are currently residing in the United States.
  • June 13, 2012: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Delling v. Idaho, presenting the question whether the Constitution permits a state to abolish the insanity defense in criminal cases.
  • May 29, 2012: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Allshouse v. Pennsylvania, presenting the question whether the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment prohibits the prosecution in a criminal case from introducing statements made to state social workers investigating suspicions of child abuse, without putting the child who made the statements on the stand.
  • May 24, 2012: Court rules against clinic’s client in Freeman v. Quicken Loans, holding that persons may not sue lenders for overcharges under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act unless the alleged overcharges involved "kickbacks" to a third party.
  • May 10, 2012: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Lopez v. United States, presenting the question whether the government is immune from liability under the Federal Tort Claims Act for failure to perform an act if the government had discretion over how (but not whether) to perform the act.
  • May 8, 2012: Clinic files opening brief on the merits in Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, arguing that an indefinitely moored floating structure is not a "vessel" for purposes of federal maritime law and jurisdiction.
  • April 30, 2012: Court grants clinic's petition for certiorari in Chaidez v. United States, which presents the question whether persons who pleaded guilty to crimes not realizing the pleas subjected them to deportation may obtain post-conviction relief upon showing they received ineffective assistance of counsel.
  • April 2, 2012: Court rules against clinic's client in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders, holding that jails may strip search all new admittees, regardless of the charges against them or whether they have any reason to believe they have contraband on their person. See coverage in the New York Times.
  • February 28, 2012: Clinic, through Professor Jeff Fisher, presents oral argument in in Mohamad v. Palestinian Authority, involving whether plaintiffs seeking damages under the Torture Victim Protection Act may sue not only natural persons but also organizations responsible for the human rights violations at issue.
  • February 21, 2012: Clinic, through instructor Kevin Russell, presents oral argument in Freeman v. Quicken Loans, Inc., which presents the question whether the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act's prohibition against charging unearned fees applies only to kickbacks or also where the entity making the loan simply pockets the fraudulent charge.
  • January 18, 2012: Court rules against clinic's client in Golan v. Holder, ruling that Congress possesses authority under the Copyright Clause and First Amendment to restore copyright protection to works even after they have become part of the public domain. See more coverage on SCOTUSblog
  • January 17, 2012: Court denies certiorari in Fast v. Applebee's International, Inc., preserving the clinic's clients's ability to proceed to trial on their claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • January 17, 2012: Court denies certiorari in Alvis v. Espinoza, leaving intact the clinic's clients' victory allowing them to proceed to trial on their civil rights claims in connection with a police shooting.
  • December 19, 2011: Eleventh Circuit rules in favor of clinic's client in Magwood v. Patterson, holding on remand from an earlier clinic victory on procedural grounds in the Supreme Court, that the State of Alabama may not execute Magwood because his crime did not render him eligible for the death penalty.
  • December 14, 2011: Clinic files brief in opposition to certiorari in Fast v. Applebee's International, Inc., urging Court to forego review of a decision holding that an employer may not take a "tip credit" under the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum–wage laws when an employee spends more than twenty percent of her time doing work that does not produce tips.
  • December 14, 2011: Clinic files brief on the merits in Mohamad v. Palestinian Authority, involving whether plaintiffs seeking damages under the Torture Victim Protection Act may sue not only natural persons but also organizations responsible for the human rights violations at issue.
  • November 16, 2011: Clinic files brief in opposition to certiorari in Alvis v. Espinosa, urging the Court to forego review of a decision holding that police officers may be held liable for shooting and killing an unarmed man following an unconstitutional entry into an apartment.
  • October 11, 2011: Court grants clinic client's petition for certiorari in Freeman v. Quicken Loans, Inc., which presents the question whether the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act's prohibition against charging unearned fees applies only to kickbacks or also where the entity making the loan simply pockets the fraudulent charge.
  • October 3, 2011: Court denies petition for certiorari in National Conference of Bar Examiners v. Enyart, thus leaving clinic's client's victory in place, giving her the right to certain accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act in order to take the bar exam.
  • June 23, 2011: Court rules in favor of clinic's client in Bullcoming v. New Mexico, holding that the prosecution violates the Sixth Amendment's Confrontation Clause when it introduces one person's forensic lab report through the in-court testimony of a different analyst. The opinion is here. See coverage on SCOTUSBlog and the New York Times.
  • May 26, 2011: Court rules in favor of clinic's client in United States v. Tinklenberg, holding that the federal Speedy Trial Act excludes allows only ten calendar days beyond its 70-day limit for purposes of transporting defendants to competency examinations. The opinion is here.
  • May 23, 2011: Court rules in favor of clinic's client, the California Correctional and Peace Officers Association, in Brown v. Plata, holding that the State must reduce its prison population by tens of thousands of inmates in order to provide constitutionally adequate health care services to prisoners. The opinion is here. See coverage in the New York Times.
  • April 22, 2011: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Heydt-Benjamin v. Heydt-Benjamin, involving the standard for determining a child's country of "habitual residence" under Hague Convention on the International Aspects of Child Abduction, which requires countries to return abducted children to their countries of habitual residence.
  • April 20, 2011: Court rules against clinic's client in Sossamon v. Texas, holding 6-2 that states are immune from lawsuits under the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) seeking money damages. See coverage in the ABA Journal and UPI.
  • April 4, 2011: Court grants clinic's petition for certiorari in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Burlington, which presents the issue whether a jail may conduct suspicionless strip searches of all admittees no matter what the charges or circumstances of their arrests. See coverage on SCOTUSblog and Westlaw News & Insight.
  • April 4, 2011: Court grants clinic's petition for certiorari in Greene v. Fisher, presenting the issue whether a state prisoner may obtain federal habeas corpus relief based on a violation of a U.S. Supreme Court decision announced after the last state-court decision on the merits of his direct appeal but before that appeal became final. See coverage on SCOTUSblog
  • March 2, 2011: Clinic argues for the petitioner in Bullcoming v. New Mexico, a case which raises the question whether the prosecution in a criminal case violates the Sixth Amendment's Confrontation Clause when it introduces a nontestifying forensic analyst's report through the in-court testimony of a different analyst. Clinic co-director Jeffrey Fisher argued on behalf of Mr. Bullcoming, and law students Masha Hansford, Jud Campbell, Kyle Maurer and Jacqueline de Armas, who helped write the clinic's briefs, attended the argument. For past briefs and to view the argument transcript, see coverage on SCOTUSblog
  • February 22, 2011: Clinic argues for respondent in United States v. Tinklenberg (see January 14, 2011 entry below). Clinic co-director Jeffrey Fisher argued on behalf of Mr. Tinklenberg, and law student Matthew Seligman, who helped write the clinic's merits brief, attended the argument. For past briefs and to view the argument transcript, see coverage on SCOTUSBlog.
  • January 19, 2011: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholdersof the County of Burlington, raising the question whether the Fourth Amendment permits a jail to conduct suspicionless strip searches of every person arrested for a minor offense, no matter what the circumstances.
  • January 14, 2011: Clinic files merits brief for respondent in United States v. Tinklenberg, arguing that the filing of unopposed, administrative pretrial motions does not toll the deadline for commencing a federal criminal trial under the Speedy Trial Act.
  • November 30, 2010: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Edwards v. A.H. Cornell & Son, Inc., raising the question whether an employer violates the anti-retaliation provision of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) when it fires an employee for making unsolicited internal complaints to management about ERISA violations.
  • November 12, 2010: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Greene v. Palakovich, raising the question of whether a state prisoner can seek federal habeas corpus relief based on Supreme Court decisions that were announced before his conviction became final but after the last reasoned state-court decision rejecting his claim.
  • October 25, 2010: Clinic files brief on the merits for the California Correctional and Peace Officers Association in Schwarzenegger v. Plata and Coleman, contending that a California district court properly applied the remedial provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act in requiring the State to cap its prison population at certain levels in order to cure its ongoing inability to provide medical care to inmates at the minimum level required by the Eighth Amendment.
  • September 16, 2010: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Zuress v. Donley, involving the circumstances under which dual-status technicians, who perform civilian roles in military departments, may seek redress under federal statutes prohibiting employment discrimination.
  • August 30, 2010: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Castro v. United States, raising questions involving the Federal Tort Claims Act's application to torts comitted by law enforcement agents (here, deporting a child who was a U.S. Citizen, over her U.S. Citizen mother's objection without any cause) that also exceed their statutory or constitutional authority. A copy of the petition is available here. See coverage in the New York Times.
  • June 24, 2010: Court rules for clinic's client in Magwood v. Patterson, holding that a state prisoner may seek federal habeas relief from a new death sentence on any constitutional basis, regardless of whether he could have challenged a prior, vacated sentence on the same basis. See coverage on SCOTUSBlog.
  • June 24, 2010: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Bannister v. Illinois, presenting the question whether the prosecution in a criminal case may present testimony from an alleged accomplice-turned-informant pursuant to a contract that requires the accomplice to testify consistently with prior statements made to the police.
  • June 2, 2010: Court rules unanimously for clinic's clients in Samantar v. Yousuf, holding that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act does not immunize former state officials who acted on behalf of a foreign state from claims brought under the Alien Tort Claims Act. See coverage in the New York Times and on SCOTUSBlog: Analysis and Wednesday Round-Up.
  • May 24, 2010: Court rules unanimously for the clinic's client in United States v. O'Brien, holding that the provision of federal law dictating a thirty-year mandatory minimum sentence for using a machinegun during a crime of voilence establishes an element of the crime that must be proven to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt, not a sentencing factor that can be proven to the judge by a preponderance of the evidence.
  • May 24, 2010: Court unanimously agrees with position clinic advocated on behalf of the International Association of Human Rights Agencies in Lewis v. City of Chicago, holding that the statutory limitations period for bringing employment discrimination claims based on an employer's use of a practice that has an allegedly disparate impact runs from any time the employer uses the practice, without regard to when the employer first announced it would implement the practice. See the SCOTUSblog entry.
  • May 24, 2010: Court grants clinic's petition for certiorari in Sossamon v. Texas, involving the question whether plaintiffs may recover money damages against the state or its officials for violating the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, and, if so, whether Congress had the constitutional authority to provide for such damages.
  • May 17, 2010: Court rules for clinic's client in Abbott v. Abbott, holding that a parent violates the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction when she takes a child out of his country of residence in contravention of a local ban on doing so without the other parent's consent. As a result of the Court's holding, the parent must return the child to his previous residence. See coverage on SCOTUSBlog: 5/18/10 article and 5/17/10 article.
  • May 13, 2010: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Allshouse v. Pennsylvania, raising the question whether the Sixth Amendment's Confrontation Clause permits the prosecution to introduce into evidence at trial an interview a child protection worker conducted with a child witness, as a substitute for calling the witness to the stand.
  • April 20, 2010: Court rules for clinic's client in Jerman v. Carslile, McNellie, Rini, Kramer & Ulrich LPA, holding that a debt collector's legal (as opposed to factual) error cannot exempt it from liability for abusive or deceptive debt collection practices under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. See coverage on SCOTUSBlog.
  • April 19, 2010: Court rules for clinic's client in United States v. Stevens, holding that the federal statute prohibiting the sales of depictions of "animal cruelty" sweeps so broadly so as to violate the First Amendment's Free Speech Clause. See coverage on the front page of the New York Times.
  • March 2, 2010: Court rules for clinic's clients in Reed Elsevier, Inc. v. Muchnick, holding that federal courts have jurisdiction to accept settlements of copyright infringement cases even when some of the works at issue have not been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.
  • January 20, 2010: Clinic files merits brief for respondents in Samantar v. Yousuf, involving the question whether former state officials who tortured individuals on behalf of a foreign state are immune from damages under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
  • January 19, 2010: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Pendergrass v. Indiana, raising the question of whether a criminal defendant is accorded his Sixth Amendment right "to be confronted with the witnesses against him" when the prosecution introduces a forensic laboratory report through the testimony of a different analyst than the one who authored the report.
  • January 8, 2010: Court grants clinic's petition for certiorari in Dolan v. United States, involving whether federal courts have the power to enter victim restitution orders after the statutory time period for doing so has expired.
  • November 30, 2009: Court denies certiorari in Virginia v. Rudolph, leaving in place the Clinic's client's victory in the Virginia Supreme Court on the ground that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated when the police arrested and searched him without reasonable suspicion that he was engaged in criminal activity.
  • November 30, 2009: Clinic files amicus brief on behalf of the International Association of Human Rights Agencies in Lewis v. City of Chicago, arguing that the statutory limitations period for bringing employment discrimination claims based on an employer's use of a practice that has an allegedly disparate impact runs from any time the employer uses the practice, without regard to when the employer first announced it would implement the practice.
  • November 16, 2009: Court grants clinic's petition for certiorari in Magwood v. Culliver, concerning a death row inmate's right to challenge his resentencing in federal habeas corpus proceedings. See coverage on SCOTUSBlog and New York Times.
  • September 23, 2009: Clinic files petition for certiorari, in Dolan v. United States, presenting the question whether federal courts have the power to enter restitution orders after the statutory time for doing so has expired.
  • August 5, 2009: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Magwood v. Culliver, concerning the constitutionality of a death sentence a federal court of appeals reinstated against an Alabama prisoner, after he obtained federal habeas corpus relief on the grounds that the Alabama courts unforeseeably and retroactively changed state law in order to sentence him to death, and that his counsel was constitutionally ineffective.
  • June 29, 2009: Court grants clinic's petition for certiorari in Abbott v. Abbott, presenting the question whether the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction requires the United States to return a child to his country of habitual residence when one parent takes the child to this country in violation of the other parent's legal right to prevent the child from being taken without his or her consent.
  • June 25, 2009: Court rules 5-4 for the clinic's client in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, holding that the Sixth Amendment's Confrontation Clause prohibits the prosecution in a criminal case from introducing a forensic laboratory report in place of live testimony from the analyst who performed the testing. The ruling requires most states across the country to adjust their practices in this area. See coverage in the New York Times, the Washington Post (here and here) and SCOTUS Blog.
  • May 18, 2009: Court rejects clinic's position in AT&T v. Hulteen, holding that employers do not violate the Pregnancy Discrimination Act by giving women smaller pensions based on pregnancy leaves they took prior to the Act's enactment. See coverage in the New York Times.
  • May 18, 2009: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Sossamon v. Texas, presenting the question whether individuals may sue state officials for damages for violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA).
  • May 15, 2009: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Burkey v. Marberry, involving whether a federal prisoner's petition for habeas corpus becomes moot when the Bureau of Prisons releases him from custody but continues to exercise control over him in the form of supervised release.
  • May 13, 2009: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Daniels v. Washington, which involves the Double Jeopardy Clause's limitations on re-prosecuting individuals for offenses after juries in their first trials found them guilty only of lesser charges.
  • May 4, 2009: Court rules unanimously for clinic's client in Flores-Figueroa v. United States, holding that a person does not violate the federal aggravated identity theft statute if he uses a false identification but does not know that it belongs to another person. See coverage of the decision's criminal law and immigration ramifications here and here in the New York Times.
  • April 28, 2009: The Court rules 6-3 for the clinic's client in Cone v. Bell, holding that lower federal courts improperly rejected a death row inmate's claim for habeas relief based on the prosecution's suppression of key evidence and its misrepresentations to state and federal appellate courts regarding the case's procedural history. See coverage in the Washington Post.
  • April 21, 2009: The Court, in Arizona v. Gant, follows the argument the clinic advanced in an amicus brief for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and holds that the Fourth Amendment permits police officers to search someone's car after arresting and handcuffing him only if the officers have reason to believe the car contains evidence of the crime giving rise to the arrest. The decision significantly enhances individual privacy over previously existing law. See coverage in the New York Times.
  • March 25, 2009: Clinic files amicus brief on behalf of House Judiciary Committee Leadership in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility Dist. No. 1 v. Eric Holder, defending the constitutionality of the provisions of the Voting Rights Act that require certain jurisdictions across the country to obtain preclearance from the Department of Justice before changing voting practices or procedures.
  • March 25, 2009: Clinic files amicus brief on behalf of the ACLU, the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and LatinoJustice PRLDEF in Ricci v. DeStefano, arguing that employers' decisions to abandon job tests that have disparate effects on minority workers do not violate the Equal Protection Clause.
  • March 20, 2009: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Dunphy v. United States, presenting the question whether courts may impose sentences below the ranges dictated by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines when resentencing offenders pursuant to retroactive amendments to the Guidelines, such as the amendments reducing the disparity between crack and power cocaine offenses.
  • February 2, 2009: Clinic files amicus brief on behalf of Eleven Individuals Who Obtained Clemency Through DNA Testing in District Attorney's Office v. Osborne, arguing that prisoners have a constitutional right of access to biological material within a state's control when performing DNA testing on that material could demonstrate the prisoners' innocence.
  • January 14, 2009: Court rules against clinic's client and holds 5-4 that the Fourth Amendment does not require courts to suppress evidence that the police obtain pursuant to unlawful arrests caused by negligent recordkeeping. See coverage in New York Times and USA Today.
  • January 13, 2009: The Court rules unanimously for the clinic's client in Jimenez v. Quarterman, holding that the time period for seeking federal habeas corpus relief restarts when a state prisoner has his direct appeal reinstated by state courts.
  • January 5, 2009: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Navajo Nation v. United States Forest Service, asking the Court to clarify—in the context of a Native American sacred site— when governmental action "substantially burdens" the free exercise of religion and thus triggers the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act.
  • December 23, 2008: Clinic files amicus brief on behalf of National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Kansas v. Ventris, which concerns whether the prosecution may introduce statements obtained in violation of the accused's Sixth Amendment right to counsel against him as impeachment evidence. The brief highlights the dangers of "jailhouse snitch" testimony, the specific type of evidence at issue in the case.
  • November 10, 2008: Clinic files brief in opposition to certiorari in Polar Tankers v. City of Valdez, Alaska, a case presenting the question whether a municipal property tax on oil tankers runs afoul of the Tonnage Clause, the Commerce Clause, or the Due Process Clause of the Constitution.
  • November 6, 2008: Clinic files an amicus brief in support of certiorari on behalf of various consumer rights and civil rights groups in Cuomo v. The Clearing House Ass'n, L.L.C., which involves whether the federal government may prohibit states from enforcing state laws that prohibit predatory and discriminatory lending practices.
  • October 20, 2008: The Supreme Court grants the clinic's petition for certiorari in Flores-Figueroa v. United States, which presents the question whether a person can be found guilty of aggravated identity theft for using what he believes is a fictitious social security number, rather than the number of another person. See coverage in the New York Times and on SCOTUSBlog.
  • October 15, 2008: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Mitchell v. Rees, involving whether a litigant may seek to alter or amend a previous decision under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) more than one year after the decision became final by showing that the decision involved an admitted legal error and extraordinary circumstances that prevented the litigant from seeking relief sooner.
  • July 25, 2008: Clinic files amicus brief on behalf of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Arizona v. Gant, arguing that the Fourth Amendment prohibits police officers from conducting a warrantless search of a vehicle incident to arresting the driver for a traffic offense.
  • July 22, 2008: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Flores-Figueroa v. United States, presenting the question whether an individual, in order to be convicted of aggravated identity theft, must know that an identification he used without legal authority actually belonged to another person. See coverage on SCOTUSBlog.
  • June 25, 2008: Court accepts clinic's argument in Kennedy v. Louisiana, and holds that the Eighth Amendment does not allow the death penalty to be imposed for any crime against an individual in which the victim does not die. The ruling invalidates capital child rape laws in Louisiana and five other states. See coverage in the New York Times and SCOTUSBlog.
  • June 23, 2008: Court rules for the clinic in Greenlaw v. United States, holding that courts of appeals may not increase criminal defendants' sentences when the government does not appeal those sentences. See coverage on SCOTUSBlog.
  • June 23, 2008: Court grants clinic's petition for certiorari in Cone v. Bell, involving the ability of a defendant sentenced to death to challenge the State's suppression of evidence at his trial. See coverage in the New York Times and SCOTUSBlog.
  • June 23, 2008: Court grants certiorari in AT&T v. Hulteen, presenting the question whether federal anti-discrimination law, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, allows companies, when calculating seniority for purposes of paying current pension benefits, to award less service credit for pre-1978 leaves of absence due to pregnancies than for pre-1978 leaves due to other medical conditions and temporary disabilities. The clinic represents the respondents. See coverage in the Washington Post and SCOTUSBlog.
  • June 23, 2008: Court denies certiorari in Dillard County v. Chilton, a voting rights case in which the clinic successfully represented the respondents.
  • June 19, 2008: Court rules for the clinic in Meacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, holding that an employer, not an employee, bears the burden under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of proving that it fired employees based on "reasonable factors other than age." See coverage in the New York Times and SCOTUSBlog.
  • June 4, 2008: Clinic files petition for certiorari in Lee v. Louisiana, raising the question whether the Sixth Amendment's jury trial clause, as applied to states through the Fourteenth Amendment, permits a criminal conviction by means of a non-unanimous jury verdict. See coverage in the National Law Journal
  • June 2, 2008: Court holds in Richlin Security Serv. v. Chertoff, that a prevailing party may recover paralegal fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act. This holding accords with the amicus brief the clinic filed on behalf of the National Association of Legal Assistance and the Paralyzed Veterans of America. See coverage on SCOTUSBlog.
  • April 16, 2008: Court rejects the clinic's position in Burgess v. United States and holds that a person convicted of a federal drug crime may have his sentence enhanced based on prior state-law misdemeanor convictions for crimes that were punishable by more than one year. See coverage on SCOTUSBlog.
  • April 14, 2008: Court denies certiorari in Lawler v. Nara, in which the clinic represented the respondent, a man who had been awarded federal habeas corpus relief by the court of appeals.