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U.S. Supreme Court News

Supreme Court Removes Patent Litigation from the Heartland of Texas

For years, patent assertion entities have filed patent lawsuits against retailers in federal court in Texas. The Supreme Court’s recent decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC may give retailers the ability to insist they defend such lawsuits on their home turf.

What Robert Bork Learned from Judicial Activism, Right and Left

I have been thinking about Robert Bork recently, prompted in part by the 30th anniversary of his rejection by the Senate on November 23, 1987. Next month will mark the fifth anniversary of his passing on December 19, 2012. Bork was profoundly influential in conservative legal circles when I graduated from law school in 1980 and started paying closer attention to constitutional theory. I was impressed with both Bork’s scholarly writings and his more polemical articles in publications such as National Review. A 1982 essay he wrote in NR, entitled “The Struggle Over the Role of the Court,” reprinted in his 2008 anthology A Time to Speak, remains timely—even prescient. Ramesh Ponnuru has called Bork’s 1990 book, The Tempting of America, written in the wake of his confirmation defeat, “the most important popular statement of judicial conservatism yet produced.”

Robert Bork’s Second Amendment

Readers of Law and Liberty may have noticed that I am a fan of Justice Antonin Scalia (for example, here and here). I am also an admirer of Robert H. Bork, whom my colleague John McGinnis has described as “the most important legal scholar on the right in the last 50 years.” Bork was a pioneer in both the field of antitrust law (with his influential 1978 book The Antitrust Paradox) and constitutional law, as the father of what we now call “originalism.” In his seminal 1971 article in the Indiana Law Journal, entitled “Neutral Principles and Some First Amendment Problems,”[1] and in his later best-selling books, The Tempting of America (1990) and Slouching Towards Gomorrah (1996), Bork eviscerated the “noninterpretive” theories of constitutional law that dominated the legal academy in the 1960s and 1970s.

I Heard the Voice of Scalia

Justice Antonin Scalia definitely had a way with words. Law students pore over his opinions not just for Scalia’s keen analysis but to delight in the verve of his prose—pungent, clear, combative, and always colorful. Scalia aficionados also savor his books and essays, which showcase his forceful rhetoric and deft pen. Alas, the body of Scalia’s judicial decisions and scholarship, although considerable, is finite. Fortunately, Scalia fans now have a treasure trove of new material to savor, in the form of a recently-released compilation of the late Justice’s speeches, entitled Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived.

Expert: Three years on, Alice ruling has eliminated patents that burdened the system

WASHINGTON – A 2014 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on "abstract" patents has hit patent litigation hard and reduced the burden on software developers in the three years since its ruling, according to two experts in the intellectual property law.

Desiccated by Judicial Dereliction

Originalism is a two-way street. Judges wishing to interpret the Constitution in accordance with its original public meaning must not import into their decisions policy proscriptions not actually derived from the text and structure of that document. Just as important is that textualism and originalism require judges to give force to all provisions of the Constitution, and not pick and choose which clauses to enforce.

Paxton files brief in support of Arlene's Flowers owner in LGBT discrimination suit

AUSTIN – A 14-state coalition has filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court to defend the First Amendment right of Barronelle Stutzman, a Washington-based floral shop owner who was sued over allegations of sexual orientation discrimination, the Texas Attorney General's office reported.

Paxton files brief regarding New Mexico Ten Commandments case with Supreme Court

AUSTIN – The Supreme Court and the Ten Commandments meet again.

Supreme Court to determine future of employer arbitration agreements, lower courts divided on issue

NEW ORLEANS – Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit sided against the National Labor Relations Board, finding that Convergys Corp. has the right to require employees to arbitrate disputes against the company, keeping them from initiating class action lawsuits.

Federal judge finds TC Heartland argument ‘unpersuasive,’ wants patent suit on East Texas docket

TYLER – The U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas, a favorite venue for patent litigation, will hold on to at least one more patent lawsuit for the time being, as a federal judge recently found a defendant’s TC Heartland argument “unpersuasive.”

Report says patent cases in Texas court may decrease by 1,000 per year after Supreme Court decision

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court's May 22 decision to reduce the states in which patent owners are allowed to file infringement lawsuits is expected to reduce 1,000 cases per year in Eastern Texas and increase cases in the District of Delaware by 500, Unified Patents has predicted.

Supreme Court rejects loose venue interpretation in patent cases

“The High Court put a dent in plaintiffs' long-established freedom to shop for the venue of their choosing when pressing patent infringement claims – potentially dealing a blow to the Eastern District of Texas’s prominence in hearing patent cases.” That's the assessment made of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision by intellectual property firm Morrison & Foerster, and we hope it proves accurate. An end to our prominence in these dubious endeavors would be a good thing and might prompt us to find some more acceptable kind of distinction.

Plain Talk about Law School Rot

The legal academy is a strange place. It differs from other intellectual disciplines in that legal scholarship is published mainly in student-edited law reviews, not peer-reviewed journals. Most faculty members at elite law schools have never practiced law, or have done so only briefly and usually without professional distinction. The curricula at many of the nation’s law schools are larded with trendy courses devoted to identity politics and social issues du jour. Elite law schools eschew the teaching of “nuts and bolts” fundamentals, deriding such practical instruction as resembling a “trade school.”

U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments to decide whether to restrict forums for patent infringement actions

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments to determine whether patent infringement actions should be restricted to judicial districts where a defendant lives or where the infringement occurred.

Supreme Court ruling may end patent cases in Eastern District courts

WASHINGTON – A closely watched patent case set to be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court may bode major changes for patent trolling cases.

Texas attorney taking U.S. border tactics case to Supreme Court

CORPUS CHRISTI – A Texas attorney is taking the case of a 15-year-old Mexican boy killed by a U.S. Border Patrol Agent in a cross-border shooting to the highest court in the United States.

U.S. Supreme Court should reject lower court's loose venue interpretation

“When a single district court hears so many cases, not because of convenience or connection to the dispute, but because it is chosen by litigants on one side, the perception of a neutral justice system is undermined.” That's one of several cogent comments made by Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton and 16 other state AGs in an amicus brief filed last week in a U.S.

New bill to amend collections on abandoned, unclaimed properties by the state of Delaware

DOVER, Del. – Both the Delaware House and the Senate have passed a bill that determines how the state goes about collecting on abandoned and unclaimed properties.

Neil Gorsuch is Just Round One in the Fight for the Supreme Court

President Trump’s nomination of 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court will be met by fierce resistance by Democrats in the Senate and unrelenting demagoguery from left-wing groups and media outlets. About that there can be no doubt. (American Greatness readers may recall a reference to Gorsuch in my December 22 article, “The Trump Court: SCOTUS Could Stand Some Disruption.”)

Supreme Court declines to review Texas Voter ID law case

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Supreme Court recently dealt a blow to Texas' controversial voter identification law.