DIRECTV, Inc. v imburgia

Imburgia sued DIRETV alleging early termination fees violated California consumer protection law. DIRECTV moved to send the case to arbitration which the trial court denied and the state appeals court affirmed holding the phrase “laws of your state” in the contract included invalidated law like the ban on class arbitration waiver provisions. The Court, 6-3, reversed. The majority held the inclusion of invalid state law in a contract was preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act because it ignored the general principal that laws can be changed retroactively and the state appeals court only applied the rule in the arbitration context which violates the requirement that arbitration agreements must be treated like all other contracts. Justice Thomas dissented arguing that the Act does not apply in state courts. Justice Ginsberg, joined by Sotomayor, dissented arguing “laws of your state” was mean to apply the California ban on class arbitration bans, any ambiguity in the phrase should be construed against DIRECTV as drafter and that recent decisions under the act have stripped consumer of any feasible way to protect themselves.

White v Wheeler

Wheeler sought habeas relief form his death sentence arguing a juror was improperly dismissed. A divided 6th Circuit panel ultimately agreed and granted relief. The Court summarily reversed holding that under AEDPA, the decision by the Kentucky Supreme Court upholding the dismissal was entitled to deference as it did not violate any provision of federal law and a reasonable jurist could reach the same conclusion. The Court reminded the 6th circuit again that AEDPA applies in death penalty cases.