This morning, the Court issued several orders and opinions; a brief summary follows:
ORDER LIST: Two new grants, One jurisdiction noted
The Court has noted jurisdiction in Evenwel v. Abbott. The issue in this case is whether the three-judge district court correctly held that the “one-person, one-vote” principle under the Equal Protection Clause allows States to use total population, and does not require States to use voter population, when apportioning state legislative districts.
Lockhart v. US: Whether the mandatory minimum sentence of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(b)(2) is triggered by a prior conviction under a state law relating to "aggravated sexual abuse" or "sexual abuse," even though the conviction did not "involv[e] a minor or ward," an issue that divides the federal courts of appeals.
(1) Wellness Intl v. Sharif: By a vote of 6-3, the judgment of the Seventh Circuit is reversed. The Court held that Article III permits bankruptcy courts to decide Stern claims submitted to them by consent. Per Justice Sotomayor, "We conclude that allowing bankruptcy litigants to waive the right to Article III adjudication of Stern claims does not usurp the constitutional prerogatives of Article III courts."
Justice Alito joined Justice Sotomayor's opinion in part and also concurred separately and concurred in judgment. Chief Justice Roberts dissented, joined by Justice Scalia and (as to Part 1) Justice Thomas. Justice Thomas also filed a dissenting opinion.
(2) KBR Services v. US ex rel Carter: In a unanimous opinion delivered by Justice Alito, the Court held that the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act applies only to criminal offenses, not to civil claims. Per Justice Alito, "The text, structure, and history of the WSLA show that the Act applies only to criminal offenses."
The decision of the Fourth Circuit is reversed in part, affirmed in part, and remanded.
(3) Commill USA v. CISCO Systems: In a 6-2 opinion delivered by Justice Kennedy, the Court vacated and remanded the judgment of the Federal Circuit. A defendant's belief regarding patent validity is not a defense to an induced infringement claim. Per Justice Kennedy, "The question the Court confronts today concerns whether a defendant’s belief regarding patent validity is a defense to a claim of induced infringement. It is not. The scienter element for induced infringement concerns infringement; that is a different issue than validity. Section 271(b) requires that the defendant “actively induce[d] infringement.” That language requires intent to “bring about the desired result,” which is infringement. Id., at ___ (slip op., at 4). And because infringement and validity are separate issues under the Act, belief regarding validity cannot negate the scienter required under §271(b)."
Justices Ginsburg, Alito, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined the opinion of the Court. Justice Thomas joined as to Parts II-B and III. Justice Scalia filed a dissenting opinion, which Justice Roberts joined. Justice Breyer took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.