Supreme Court Update: Order List 10/17/11

October 17, 2011 Supreme Court Update

Greetings, Court fans!

The Court continues to add to its docket. Today, the Court granted cert in the following cases:

Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum (10-1491) and Mohamad v. Rajoub (11-88), which are to be argued in tandem. Kiobel asks (1) "Whether the issue of corporate civil tort liability under the Alien Tort Statute (‘ATS'), 28 U.S.C. § 1350, is a merits question . . . or an issue of subject matter jurisdiction," and (2) "Whether corporations are immune from tort liability for violations of the law of nations such as torture, extrajudicial executions or genocide . . . or if corporations may be sued in the same manner as any other private party defendant under the ATS for such egregious violations." Mohamed similarly asks "Whether the Torture Victim Protection Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1350 note § 2(a), permits actions against defendants which are not natural persons."

Elgin v. Dep't of Treasury (11-45) presents this question: "Do federal district courts have jurisdiction over constitutional claims for equitable relief brought by federal employees . . . or does the Civil Service Reform Act impliedly preclude that jurisdiction[?]"

United States v. Alvarez (11-210) asks whether 18 U.S.C. § 704(b) – which makes it a crime when anyone "falsely represents himself or herself, verbally or in writing, to have been awarded any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the Armed Forces of the United States" – is facially invalid under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.

That's it for now. But before we go, we express our apologies to Solicitor General Verrilli, whom we inadvertently (i.e., working off an old template) referred to as Acting SG in last week's Update. We'll be back with more orders – and, dare we hope, a first decision? – soon.

Kim & Jenny

From the Appellate and Complex Legal Issues Practice Group at Wiggin and Dana. For more information, contact Kim Rinehart or any other member of the Practice Group at 203-498-4400