Author Topic: Justices grant three new cases  (Read 584 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Elderberry

  • TBR Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,933
Justices grant three new cases
« on: June 03, 2019, 10:57:28 pm »
SCOTUSblog by Amy Howe on Jun 3, 2019

This morning the Supreme Court added three new cases to its merits docket for next term, on issues ranging from copyright law to criminal procedure and the Employee Income Retirement Security Act. Once again, however, the justices did not act on the case of an Oregon couple who declined to make a custom wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

In Allen v. Cooper, the justices will consider whether Congress had the power to repeal the states’ immunity from lawsuits for copyright infringement when it enacted the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act.

The case arises from the discovery of Blackbeard’s flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, off the North Carolina coast. Frederick Allen and his company, Nautilus Productions, filmed the shipwreck and registered copyrights for the videos and photos that they created; in 2015, they filed a lawsuit claiming that North Carolina had violated their copyrights. The state countered that it could not be sued in federal court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit agreed. The 4th Circuit ruled that the CRCA had not validly repealed the immunity granted to the states by the 11th Amendment.

The justices also agreed to review the case of Gonzalo Holguin-Hernandez, who was arrested and sentenced on charges of possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit rejected Holguin-Hernandez’s challenge to the length of his sentence, holding that because he had not objected to the sentence when it was imposed, the only question on appeal was whether the sentence was clearly incorrect – which, it ruled, it was not.

Finally, the justices granted review in Retirement Plans Committee of IBM v. Jander, a lawsuit alleging that the fiduciaries of IBM’s stock-ownership plans violated their duty of prudence under ERISA by continuing to invest the plan’s funds in IBM’s stock even though they knew the stock’s market price was artificially inflated. Under the Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoffer, a plaintiff bringing such a claim must allege that a fiduciary in the defendant’s position could not have concluded that taking a different action “would do more harm than good to the fund.” The justices agreed today to decide whether ERISA plaintiffs can survive a motion to dismiss when they make general allegations that the costs of undisclosed fraud grow over time.

The justices also asked the U.S. solicitor to weigh in on the final determination filed by the river master in a dispute between Texas and New Mexico over the water from the Pecos River. There is no deadline for the federal government to file its brief; the Supreme Court’s online docket indicates that Texas filed its complaint in the case in 1974.