News & Politics
Supreme Court News
(ORDER LIST: 589 U.S.) MONDAY, MARCH 2, 2020 CERTIORARI -- SUMMARY DISPOSITIONS 18-309 SWARTZ, LONNIE V. RODRIGUEZ, ARACELI The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for further consideration in light of Hernandez v. Mesa, 589 U. S. ___ (2020). 18-9164 MURO, ANTONIO V. UNITED STATES The motion of petitioner for leave to proceed in forma pauperis and the petition for a writ of certiorari are granted. The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for further consideration in light of Holguin-Hernandez v. United States, 589 U. S. ___ (2020). 19-675 ) BANK OF AMERICA CORP., ET AL. V. MIAMI, FL ) 19-688 ) WELLS FARGO & CO., ET AL. V. MIAMI, FL The petitions for writs of certiorari are granted. The judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit is vacated as moot. See United States v. Munsingwear, Inc., 340 U. S. 36 (1950). 19-5601 HICKS, CLINTON D. V. UNITED STATES The motion of petitioner for leave to proceed in forma pauperis and the petition for a writ of certiorari are granted. The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the United 1 States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for further consideration in light of Rehaif v. United States, 588 U. S. ___ (2019). 19-5789 McMILLAN, JAMAR L. V. UNITED STATES The motion of petitioner for leave to proceed in forma pauperis and the petition for a writ of certiorari are granted. The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit for further consideration in light of Rehaif v. United States, 588 U. S. ___ (2019). ORDERS IN PENDING CASES 19A748 GOAD, DAVID V. GARY L. STEEL, JUDGE, ET AL. The application for stay addressed to Justice Ginsburg and referred to the Court is denied. 19M103 ELAM, LINDA S., ET VIR V. AURORA LOAN SERVICES, ET AL. The motion to direct the Clerk to file a petition for a writ of certiorari out of time is denied. 19M104 HAIRSTON, ARTHUR L. V. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS The motion for leave to proceed as a veteran is denied. 19M105 MILLER, MARLON R. V. UNITED STATES The motion for leave to file a petition for a writ of certiorari under seal with redacted copies for the public record is granted. 19M106 TORRES, RUTH V. CONTINENTAL APARTMENTS, ET AL. The motion to direct the Clerk to file a petition for a writ of certiorari out of time is denied. 2 18-540 RUTLEDGE, ATT'Y GEN. OF AR V. PHARMACEUTICAL CARE MANAGEMENT The motion of petitioner for leave to file Volume II of the joint appendix under seal is granted. 18-956 GOOGLE LLC V. ORACLE AMERICA, INC. The motion of the Solicitor General for leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument is granted. 19-465 ) CHIAFALO, PETER B., ET AL. V. WASHINGTON ) 19-518 ) CO DEPT. OF STATE V. BACA, MICHEAL, ET AL. The motion of petitioners in No. 19-465 to dispense with printing the joint appendix is granted. 19-7073 THOMAS, ANTHONY V. KENMARK VENTURES, LLC The motion of petitioner for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is denied. Petitioner is allowed until March 23, 2020, within which to pay the docketing fee required by Rule 38(a) and to submit a petition in compliance with Rule 33.1 of the Rules of this Court. CERTIORARI GRANTED 19-547 FISH AND WILDLIFE SERV., ET AL. V. SIERRA CLUB, INC. The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. 19-840 ) CALIFORNIA, ET AL. V. TEXAS, ET AL. ) 19-1019 ) TEXAS, ET AL. V. CALIFORNIA, ET AL. The motion of 33 State Hospital Associations for leave to file a brief as amici curiae in No. 19-840 is granted. The petitions for writs of certiorari are granted. The cases are consolidated, and a total of one hour is allotted for oral argument. 3 19-5410 BORDEN, CHARLES V. UNITED STATES The motion of petitioner for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is granted. The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted limited to Question 1 presented by the petition. CERTIORARI DENIED 18-7105 HUNTER, TAVARIS J. V. UNITED STATES 18-7797 PATRICK, COREE V. UNITED STATES 18-8380 PRESSEY, WOODROW V. UNITED STATES 18-8447 WILSON, JAVIS V. UNITED STATES 18-9547 WILLIAMS, ANTWAN B. V. UNITED STATES 18-9772 HOWARD, WILLIAM J. V. UNITED STATES 18-9796 JIMERSON, ANTHONY B. V. UNITED STATES 19-28 DANIELS, KENNETH V. UNITED STATES 19-229 C. D., ET AL. V. NATICK PUBLIC SCH. DIST., ET AL. 19-550 WATSO, KIMBERLY, ET AL. V. HARPSTEAD, JODI, ET AL. 19-572 SINGH, RAVNEET V. UNITED STATES 19-592 CARROLL CTY. MD COMM'RS V. MD DEPT. OF THE ENVIRONMENT 19-689 CHAPMAN, MARK, ET AL. V. ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE CO. 19-714 PENNSYLVANIA V. LANDIS, WILLIAM R. 19-806 BARTH, MICHAEL S. V. BERNARDS, NJ, ET AL. 19-808 LEIBUNDGUTH STORAGE & VAN SERV. V. DOWNERS GROVE, IL 19-810 BADWAL, AVTAR S. V. BADWAL, RAMANDEEP, ET AL. 19-817 SHANDS, ANNETTE V. LAKELAND CENTRAL SCHOOL, ET AL. 19-821 NSEJJERE, ISAAC M. V. SMITH, REUBEN, ET UX. 19-853 SANDRA R., ET AL. V. ARIZONA DEPT. OF CHILD SAFETY 19-866 UBINAS-BRACHE, EMMANUEL E. V. SURGERY CENTER OF TX, LP 19-898 COLLINS, KIMBERLY D. V. THORNTON, GWENDOLYN 19-927 KLOCKE, WAYNE M. V. UNIV. OF TX AT ARLINGTON 4 19-928 JOHNSON, KENNETH F. V. DARNELL, SHERIFF, ET AL. 19-929 SHUMAN, LOUIS S., ET UX. V. CIR 19-942 ZUCKERMAN, LAUREL V. METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART 19-944 SELDIN, SCOTT A. V. SELDIN, THEODORE M., ET AL. 19-952 GOODWIN, MICHAEL D. V. UNITED STATES 19-954 HARRISS, BRIAN E. V. CIR 19-965 EDWARDS, KENIN L. V. ATTERBERRY, MICHAEL L., ET AL. 19-969 MARSHALL, JOHN M., ET AL. V. CIR 19-973 SWANSON, BRIAN D. V. UNITED STATES 19-5037 VILLANUEVA, GILBERTO V. UNITED STATES 19-5247 HEDLUND, CHARLES M. V. ARIZONA 19-5309 MITCHELL, WILLIAM D. V. UNITED STATES 19-5478 MADRIGAL, WILFREDO R. V. UNITED STATES 19-5480 DORSEY, ANDREW V. UNITED STATES 19-5575 YARBROUGH, ANTWAINE E. V. UNITED STATES 19-5923 HAYES, JAMAAR D. V. UNITED STATES 19-6078 McDANIEL, TERREALL V. UNITED STATES 19-6148 WILSON, CORNELIUS L. V. GRIMES, DENNIS, ET AL. 19-6213 BOOKER, MARCUS B. V. TEXAS 19-6230 FINCHER, CLAUDIUS L. V. UNITED STATES 19-6249 FAIRCLOTH, MICHAEL T. V. UNITED STATES 19-6405 VEREEN, ERNEST V. UNITED STATES 19-6426 RAMIREZ, JOHN H. V. DAVIS, DIR. TX DCJ 19-6596 HETTINGA, WYLMINA V. LOUMENA, TIMOTHY P. 19-6675 BISHOP, MICHAEL R. V. UNITED STATES 19-6773 ORTEGA-LIMONES, EDGAR V. UNITED STATES 19-6910 MOLIERE, ALFRED T. V. TEXAS 19-7064 BEANBLOSSOM, JOHANNA V. BAY DISTRICT SCHOOLS 5 19-7091 CHAMPAGNE, ALAN M. V. ARIZONA 19-7095 SMITH, DAVID L. V. USDC ED NC 19-7101 NOWAKOWSKI, DAVID V. E.E. AUSTIN AND SON, ET AL. 19-7108 MOORE, DEVELL V. LeGRAND, ROBERT, ET AL. 19-7110 JOHNSON, ROBERT W. V. McMAHON, CHIEF JUDGE, ET AL. 19-7111 JOHNSON, ROBERT W. V. PORTNOY, KEVIN S., ET AL. 19-7120 SANCHEZ, GILBERT V. TEXAS 19-7124 BUTLER, DERWIN L. V. CALIFORNIA 19-7129 MOORE, BRIAN V. NEW JERSEY 19-7135 PARK, HYE-YOUNG V. SECOLSKY, CHARLES, ET AL. 19-7140 ORTIZ, ANTONIO M. V. SOLOMON, GEORGE T., ET AL. 19-7150 WALTON, MICHAEL J. V. KOWALSKI, WARDEN 19-7157 MOTHER V. LORAIN CTY. CHILDREN SERVICES 19-7158 MONTANEZ, ISAAC V. McDEAN LLC 19-7160 ESPINOZA, ERNEST J. V. ASHE, MATT A., ET AL. 19-7162 NEGRON, CARLOS J. V. INCH, SEC., FL DOC, ET AL. 19-7166 KARNOFEL, ANN V. SUPERIOR WATERPROOFING, INC. 19-7168 JOHNSON, TRACY E. V. ILLINOIS 19-7181 BELL, ANNA V. OR HEALTH & SCIENCE UNIVERSITY 19-7184 BREWER, STANLEY V. CUNNINGHAM, SUPT., FISHKILL 19-7241 COX, WILLIAM G. V. LOUSIANA 19-7277 MOREIRA, DORA V. UNITED STATES 19-7284 WALLACE, BOBBY Y. V. VANNOY, WARDEN 19-7297 BURTON, CHRISTOPHER J. V. CLARKE, DIR., VA DOC 19-7329 WILLIAMS, JAMAAR J. V. GENTRY, WARDEN, ET AL. 19-7357 FORDHAM, CHRIS V. MANZOLA, CORR. OFFICER, ET AL. 19-7372 TAYLOR, SAUNDRA V. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 19-7376 TRAPPLER, ALICE C. V. NEW YORK 6 19-7399 HARRIS, FREDERICK C. V. UNITED STATES 19-7427 PEREZ-JIMENEZ, RODOLFO V. UNITED STATES 19-7437 SPARKS, TONY V. UNITED STATES 19-7446 ECHEVERRIA-BENITEZ, ENRIQUE A. V. UNITED STATES 19-7450 STEELE, GEORGE M. V. UNITED STATES 19-7454 BARFIELD, KENNETH J. V. UNITED STATES 19-7457 VILLARREAL-ESTEBIS, ROGELIO V. UNITED STATES 19-7460 WRIGHT, DAVID V. UNITED STATES 19-7467 BEQIRAJ, FRANKIE V. UNITED STATES 19-7477 MEJIA, RAUL V. UNITED STATES 19-7478 PYE, DANIEL V. UNITED STATES 19-7490 HERNANDEZ, OMAR E. V. UNITED STATES 19-7492 JENSEN, INGER L. V. UNITED STATES 19-7494 THOMAS, RICKY L. V. UNITED STATES 19-7498 SANDERS, JAMES E. V. UNITED STATES 19-7502 PETERS, SCOTT V. ILLINOIS 19-7507 GURULE, TOMMY V. UNITED STATES 19-7510 BLOCK, FRANCIS D. V. UNITED STATES 19-7512 URIAS-MARQUEZ, JOSE L. V. UNITED STATES 19-7514 ESSIEN, EKANEM K. V. PEERY, WARDEN 19-7518 GARCIA, BALTAZAR R., ET AL. V. UNITED STATES 19-7519 HERNANDEZ-NUNEZ, ERICKA V. UNITED STATES 19-7522 MATTHEWS, DEDRICK V. LOUISIANA 19-7540 JACKSON, RANDOM V. INCH, SEC., FL DOC The petitions for writs of certiorari are denied. 18-7833 HAYES, JEROME V. UNITED STATES The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied. Justice Kagan took no part in the consideration or decision of this 7 petition. 19-7122 RAGHUBIR, VINODH V. INCH, SEC., FL DOC The motion of petitioner for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is denied, and the petition for a writ of certiorari is dismissed. See Rule 39.8. 19-7186 YOUNG, JAMES R. V. UNITED STATES, ET AL. The motion of petitioner for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is denied, and the petition for a writ of certiorari is dismissed. See Rule 39.8. As the petitioner has repeatedly abused this Court's process, the Clerk is directed not to accept any further petitions in noncriminal matters from petitioner unless the docketing fee required by Rule 38(a) is paid and the petition is submitted in compliance with Rule 33.1. See Martin v. District of Columbia Court of Appeals, 506 U. S. 1 (1992) (per curiam). 19-7189 MOORE, KEVIN D. V. UNITED STATES The motion of petitioner for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is denied, and the petition for a writ of certiorari is dismissed. See Rule 39.8. 19-7458 MYERS, KALEB J. V. UNITED STATES The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied. Justice Gorsuch took no part in the consideration or decision of this petition. 19-7486 LINDSAY, MICHAEL V. UNITED STATES The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied. Justice Breyer took no part in the consideration or decision of this petition. 8 19-7489 DURAN, PAUL E. V. DIAZ, SEC., CA DOC The petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment is denied. HABEAS CORPUS DENIED 19-7564 IN RE MICHAEL D. SEIBERT 19-7643 IN RE STEPHEN D. LEONARD The petitions for writs of habeas corpus are denied. MANDAMUS DENIED 19-7143 IN RE STEVEN D. McDONALD The petition for a writ of mandamus is denied. 19-7435 IN RE ROBERT N. BROOKS The petition for a writ of mandamus and/or prohibition is denied. REHEARINGS DENIED 19-6153 NELSON, DAVONTAH L. V. BURT, WARDEN 19-6337 BIRCH-MIN, MONICA V. MIDDLESEX COUNTY BOARD, ET AL. 19-6457 D. B. V. TX DEPT. OF FAMILY 19-6470 MARSHALL, DARRELL L. V. STEEH, GEORGE C., ET AL. 19-6537 EVERSON, CHRISTOPHER V. LANTZ, THERESA, ET AL. The petitions for rehearing are denied. 18-9296 IN RE ALLEN J. DANNEWITZ, JR. The motion for leave to file a petition for rehearing is denied. 9 1 Cite as: 589 U. S. ____ (2020) Statement of GORSUCH, J. SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES DAMIEN GUEDES, ET AL. v. BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS AND EXPLOSIVES, ET AL. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT No. 19–296. Decided March 2, 2020 The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied. Statement of JUSTICE GORSUCH. Does owning a bump stock expose a citizen to a decade in federal prison? For years, the government didn’t think so. But recently the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives changed its mind. Now, according to a new in- terpretive rule from the agency, owning a bump stock is for- bidden by a longstanding federal statute that outlaws the “possession [of] a machinegun.” 26 U. S. C. §5685(b), 18 U. S. C. §924(a)(2). Whether bump stocks can be fairly re- classified and effectively outlawed as machineguns under existing statutory definitions, I do not know and could not say without briefing and argument. Nor do I question that Congress might seek to enact new legislation directly regu- lating the use and possession of bump stocks. But at least one thing should be clear: Contrary to the court of appeals’s decision in this case, Chevron U. S. A. Inc. v. Natural Re- sources Defense Council, Inc. 467 U. S. 837 (1984), has noth- ing to say about the proper interpretation of the law before us. In the first place, the government expressly waived reli- ance on Chevron. The government told the court of appeals that, if the validity of its rule (re)interpreting the ma- chinegun statute “turns on the applicability of Chevron, it would prefer that the [r]ule be set aside rather than up- 2 GUEDES v. BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS AND EXPLOSIVES Statement of GORSUCH, J. held.” 920 F. 3d 1, 21 (CADC 2019) (Henderson, J., concur- ring in part and dissenting in part) (noting concession). Yet, despite this concession, the court proceeded to uphold the agency’s new rule only on the strength of Chevron def- erence. Think about it this way. The executive branch and affected citizens asked the court to do what courts usually do in statutory interpretation disputes: supply its best in- dependent judgment about what the law means. But, in- stead of deciding the case the old-fashioned way, the court placed an uninvited thumb on the scale in favor of the government. That was mistaken. This Court has often declined to ap- ply Chevron deference when the government fails to invoke it. See Eskridge & Baer, The Continuum of Deference: Su- preme Court Treatment of Agency Statutory Interpreta- tions From Chevron to Hamdan, 96 Geo. L. J. 1083, 1121– 1124 (2008) (collecting cases); Merrill, Judicial Deference to Executive Precedent, 101 Yale L. J. 969, 982–984 (1992) (same); see BNSF R. Co. v. Loos, 586 U. S. ___ (2019). Even when Chevron deference is sought, this Court has found it inappropriate where “the Executive seems of two minds” about the result it prefers. Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, 584 U. S. ___, ___ (2018) (slip op., at 20). Nor is it a surprise that the government can lose the benefit of Chevron in sit- uations like these and ours. If the justification for Chevron is that “ ‘policy choices’ should be left to executive branch officials ‘directly accountable to the people,’ ” Epic Systems, 584 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 20) (quoting Chevron, 467 U. S., at 865), then courts must equally respect the Executive’s decision not to make policy choices in the interpretation of Congress’s handiwork. To make matters worse, the law before us carries the pos- sibility of criminal sanctions. And, as the government itself may have recognized in offering its disclaimer, whatever else one thinks about Chevron, it has no role to play when 3 Cite as: 589 U. S. ____ (2020) Statement of GORSUCH, J. liberty is at stake. Under our Constitution, “[o]nly the peo- ple’s elected representatives in the legislature are author- ized to ‘make an act a crime.’ ” United States v. Davis, 588 U. S. ___, ___ (2019) (slip op., at 5) (quoting United States v. Hudson, 7 Cranch 32, 34 (1812)). Before courts may send people to prison, we owe them an independent determina- tion that the law actually forbids their conduct. A “reason- able” prosecutor’s say-so is cold comfort in comparison. That’s why this Court has “never held that the Govern- ment’s reading of a criminal statute is entitled to any def- erence.” United States v. Apel, 571 U. S. 359, 369 (2014). Instead, we have emphasized, courts bear an “obligation” to determine independently what the law allows and forbids. Abramski v. United States, 573 U. S. 169, 191 (2014); see also 920 F. 3d, at 39–40 (opinion of Henderson, J.); Esquivel-Quintana v. Lynch, 810 F. 3d 1019, 1027–1032 (CA6 2016) (Sutton, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part). That obligation went unfulfilled here. Chevron’s application in this case may be doubtful for other reasons too. The agency used to tell everyone that bump stocks don’t qualify as “machineguns.” Now it says the opposite. The law hasn’t changed, only an agency’s in- terpretation of it. And these days it sometimes seems agen- cies change their statutory interpretations almost as often as elections change administrations. How, in all this, can ordinary citizens be expected to keep up—required not only to conform their conduct to the fairest reading of the law they might expect from a neutral judge, but forced to guess whether the statute will be declared ambiguous; to guess again whether the agency’s initial interpretation of the law will be declared “reasonable”; and to guess again whether a later and opposing agency interpretation will also be held “reasonable”? And why should courts, charged with the in- dependent and neutral interpretation of the laws Congress has enacted, defer to such bureaucratic pirouetting? Despite these concerns, I agree with my colleagues that 4 GUEDES v. BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS AND EXPLOSIVES Statement of GORSUCH, J. the interlocutory petition before us does not merit review. The errors apparent in this preliminary ruling might yet be corrected before final judgment. Further, other courts of appeals are actively considering challenges to the same reg- ulation. Before deciding whether to weigh in, we would benefit from hearing their considered judgments—pro- vided, of course, that they are not afflicted with the same problems. But waiting should not be mistaken for lack of concern.