Dean v United States

Dean sought review of the 8th Circuit decision barring consideration of mandatory minimum gun sentences when setting his sentence for two robbery convictions. The Court reversed holding there is nothing in 18 USC 924(c) that prohibits district courts from taking the mandatory gun minimums into account as is sets the total sentence and thus the district here could have granted Ray’s request for a one-day sentence for the robberies followed by the mandatory 30 years consecutive sentences for the gun violations.

McLane Company, Inc. v Equal Opportunity Employment Commission

McLane sought review of the 9th Circuit decision reversing the quashing of Commission’s administrative subpoena. Resolving a circuit split on whether district court design on Commission subpoenas should be reviewed de novo or for abuse of discretion, the Court, with Ginsberg dissenting in part, reversed and remanded. The Court held that abuse of discretion review is appropriate here because the almost universal appellate practice for administrative subpoenas at the time Commission was granted subpoena power was abuse of discretion review and only the 9th circuit has reviewed Commission subpoenas de novo and district courts are institutionally advantaged in the review process as the questions of whether a subpoena seeks relevant information and if they are overbroad are fact intensive and similar to other fact intensive decisions assigned to district courts. The majority remanded the case for review under the correct standard. Ginsberg dissented in part arguing the decision below was correct as the district court decision was based on legal error of requiring more than relevance.

Coventry Health Care of Missouri, Inc. v Nevlis

Coventry sought review of the Missouri Supreme Court decision which held Missouri’s ban on subrogation and reimbursement was not preempted by 5 USC 8902(m)(1) and regulations issued by the Office of Personnel Management. Resolving a split of appellate authority on the issue of preemption, the Court, with Thomas adding a concurrence and Gorsuch not participating, reversed. It held that subrogation and reimbursement relate to payments of benefits as insurers receive payment for benefits paid out and the phrase “relate to” as used in 8902(m)(1) only requires a connection to the subject and federal regulation of federal employee benefits is longstanding. Thus, the Court held 8902(m) (1) applies here. It held that while the statute could be interpreted in Nevlis’ favor, a prior case relied upon by him did not adopt his reading. It held 8902(m)(1) preempted Missouri law as it gives preemptive power to contractual terms like the subrogation and reimbursement terms here. The case was remanded for further proceedings. Thomas added a concurrence noting 8902(m)(1) may be an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power but further noting that his issue was not raised by Nevlis.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company v Haeger

Goodyear sought review of the 9th Circuit decision affirming an award of attorney fees to Haeger for discovery abuse arguing the award should have been limited to fees incurred because of the abuse. The Court, resolving a split of circuit authority and with Gorsuch not participating, agreed and reversed. It held that under Court precedent, sanctions under federal courts’ inherent authority are limited to reimbursing wronged parties and fee awards are thus limited to fees that would not have occurred but for the misconduct. The Court stressed that expense-by-expense analysis is not always required and in some particularly egregious cases, all fees from imitation of case or from a particular point in the case may be awarded as meeting the but for standard. Applying here it held that the district court erred in finding the case would have settled given Goodyear did not settle similar cases where there was no discovery abuse and the failure to disclose certain test results did ton so infect the case as to allow an award of all fees incurred in the litigation. It remanded the case to consider whether Goodyear waived its argument against a lower alternative award and if not for a de novo proceeding at the district court to apply the correct standard.

Manrique v United States

Manrique sought review of the 11th Circuit decision dismissing his challenge to a restitution order entered after the original prison sentence based on Manrique’s failure to file a notice of apple from the amended judgment incorporating eth restitution order. The Court, 6-2 with Gorsuch not participating, affirmed. The majority held that under 18 USC 3742(a) and rule of Appellate Procedure 4, notices of appeal can only be effectively field after the district court has decided the issue to be appealed, Manrique only filed a notice of appeal after the original sentence not an additional one after restitution was ordered and because the requirement for an additional notice of appeal is at least a mandatory claim processing rule the government’s objection triggered the duty of the 11th Circuit to dismiss. It rejected Manrique’s arguments holding Court precedent recognizes that original sentences and later restitution orders are separate final judgments for appellate purposes, that Rule 4(b)(2) does not apply as the appeal here was filed months before the restitution order and harmless error analysis does not apply to claim processing rules. Ginsberg, joined by Sotomayor dissented arguing that the district court failed to advise Manrique of his right to appeal the restitution order but eth clerk forwarded the amended judgment to the 11th Circuit which added it to the pending appeal and requested the transcript of the restitution hearing and the transmission should be regarded as an adequate substitute for a second notice of appeal.