On February 25, 2015, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Yates v. United States. This case concerns whether Mr. Yates’ order to his crew to throw undersized fish back into the Gulf of Mexico during the course of a government wildlife investigation violated the "document shredding provision" of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which makes it a crime for anyone who “knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object” with the intent to impede or obstruct an investigation.
Justice Ginsburg announced the judgment of a divided Court, and delivered a plurality opinion concluding that for purposes of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a "tangible object" refers to an object used to record or preserve information. Justice Alito concurred, on somewhat narrower grounds.
Justice Ginsburg was joined by Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Breyer and Sotomayor. Justice Alito filed an opinion concurring in the judgment. Justice Kagan filed a dissenting opinion, which Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas joined. The judgment of the Eleventh circuit was reversed and the case remanded for further proceedings.
To discuss the case, we have Todd Braunstein who is Counsel at WilmerHale.
On March 2, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. The first question in the case is whether Arizona’s reliance on a commission to draw up congressional districts rather than its state legislature violates the Elections Clause of the United States Constitution as well as Title 2 of the U.S. Code. The second question is whether the Arizona Legislature has standing to file suit against the commission.
To discuss the case, we have Derek Muller, who is an Associate Professor of Law at the Pepperdine University School of Law.
On January 12, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet. The question in this case is whether the Natural Gas Act, which gives the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission jurisdiction to regulate natural gas sales in interstate commerce for resale (wholesale sales), preempts state-law antitrust claims which challenge industry practices that directly affect the wholesale natural gas market when those claims are asserted by litigants who purchased gas in retail transactions.
To discuss the case, we have Daniel Lyons, who is an Associate Professor of Law at the Boston College Law School.
On February 25, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Equal Opportunity Employment Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. This case asks whether knowledge of a required Title VII religious accommodation and an applicant or employee's clear notice of their "religious observance or practice" to their prospective or current employer is required for an employer to be held liable for violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for choosing not to hire an applicant or dismissing an employee because of said "religious observance or practice."
To discuss the case, we have Rachel Paulose, who is a former Senate Confirmed United States Attorney.
On March 3, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in City of Los Angeles v. Patel. This case presents two questions. The first question in this case is whether the Fourth Amendment permits facial challenges to municipal ordinances and statutes or only “as-applied” challenges. The second question is whether warrantless police searches of hotel guest registries, which include information that a guest is required by law to provide, are unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment.
To discuss the case, we have Prof. Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, who is a Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center.