(1) Cooper v. Harris: By a vote of 5-3 the judgment of the three-judge panel in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina is affirmed. Per Justice Kagan's opinion for the Court: "The Constitution entrusts States with the job of designing congressional districts. But it also imposes an important constraint: A State may not use race as the predominant factor in drawing district lines unless it has a compelling reason. In this case, a three-judge District Court ruled that North Carolina officials violated that bar when they created two districts whose voting-age populations were majority black. Applying a deferential standard of review to the factual findings underlying that decision, we affirm."
Justice Kagan's majority opinion was joined by Justices Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor. Justice Thomas also filed a concurring opinion. Justice Alito filed an opinion concurring in the judgment in part and dissenting in part, joined by the Chief Justice and Justice Kennedy. Justice Gorsuch took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
(2) Water Splash, Inc. v. Menon: By a vote of 8-0 the judgment of the Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourteenth District is vacated and the case remanded. Per Justice Alito's opinion for the Court: "This case concerns the scope of the Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters, Nov. 15, 1965 (Hague Service Convention).... The purpose of that multilateral treaty is to simplify, standardize, and generally improve the process of serving documents abroad. Preamble, ibid.; see Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft v. Schlunk, 486 U. S. 694, 698 (1988). To that end, the Hague Service Convention specifies certain approved methods of service and 'pre-empts inconsistent methods of service' wherever it applies. Id., at 699. Today we address a question that has divided the lower courts: whether the Convention prohibits service by mail. We hold that it does not."
Justice Alito's opinion was joined by all other members of the Court except Justice Gorsuch, who took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
(3) TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC: By a vote 8-0 of the judgment of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is reversed and the case remanded. Per Justice Thomas's opinion for the Court: "The question presented in this case is where proper venue lies for a patent infringement lawsuit brought against a domestic corporation. The patent venue statute, 28 U. S. C. §1400(b), provides that '[a]ny civil action for patent infringement may be brought in the judicial district where the defendant resides, or where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business.' In Fourco Glass Co. v. Transmirra Products Corp., 353 U. S. 222, 226 (1957), this Court concluded that for purposes of §1400(b) a domestic corporation 'resides' only in its State of incorporation. In reaching that conclusion, the Court rejected the argument that §1400(b) incorporates the broader definition of corporate 'residence' contained in the general venue statute, 28 U. S. C. §1391(c). 353 U. S., at 228. Congress has not amended §1400(b) since this Court construed it in Fourco, but it has amended §1391 twice. Section 1391 now provides that, '[e]xcept as otherwise provided by law' and '[f]or all venue purposes,' a corporation 'shall be deemed to reside, if a defendant, in any judicial district in which such defendant is subject to the court’s personal jurisdiction with respect to the civil action in question.' §§1391(a), (c). The issue in this case is whether that definition supplants the definition announced in Fourco and allows a plaintiff to bring a patent infringement lawsuit against a corporation in any district in which the corporation is subject to personal jurisdiction. We conclude that the amendments to §1391 did not modify the meaning of §1400(b) as interpreted by Fourco. We therefore hold that a domestic corporation 'resides' only in its State of incorporation for purposes of the patent venue statute.
Justice Thomas's opinion was joined by all other members of the Court except Justice Gorsuch, who took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
(1) Republican Party of Louisiana v. Federal Election Comm'n: The judgment of the three-judge panel in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is (summarily) affirmed (Order List p. 1), but "Justice Thomas and Justice Gorsuch would note probable jurisdiction and set the case for oral argument."
(2) In addition to one GVR, the Court granted cert in SAS Institute, Inc. v. Lee: Whether 35 U.S.C. § 318(a), which provides that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in an inter partes review “shall issue a final written decision with respect to the patentability of any patent claim challenged by the petitioner,” requires that Board to issue a final written decision as to every claim challenged by the petitioner, or whether it allows that Board to issue a final written decision with respect to the patentability of only some of the patent claims challenged by the petitioner, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held.
(4) No action was taken on Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Comm'n (SSM wedding cake dispute) or on Peruta v. California (right to carry handgun outside the home for self-defense).