Faculty Available for Comment on 2020 Supreme Court Term

U.S. Supreme Court building

Photo by iStock

July 9, 2020

University of Virginia School of Law faculty listed here are available to speak to the media about the 2020 Supreme Court term. The list will be updated as more cases are announced.

 

Arizona Republican Party v.​ Democratic National Committee

Whether the Voting Rights Act compels states to authorize any voting practice that would be used disproportionately by racial minorities, even if existing voting procedures are race-neutral and offer all voters an equal opportunity to vote.

Gilbert teaches courses on election law, legislation, and law and economics, and directs UVA Law’s Center for Public Law and Political Economy.


Barr v. Alcaraz-E​nriquez

Whether a court of appeals may conclusively presume an applicant’s testimony is credible and true whenever an immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals adjudicates a withholding-of-removal application without making an explicit adverse credibility determination.

Cope’s research focuses on the measurement of legal and political phenomena. Substantively, he is most interested in the law and politics of international institutions, migration, and relationships between domestic institutional structure and international behavior.


Barr v. Dai

Whether the court of appeals violated the remand rule as set forth in INS v. Ventura when it determined in the first instance that the respondent was eligible for asylum and entitled to withholding of removal.

Cope’s research focuses on the measurement of legal and political phenomena. Substantively, he is most interested in the law and politics of international institutions, migration, and relationships between domestic institutional structure and international behavior.


Borden v. U.S.

Whether the “use of force” clause in the Armed Career Criminal Act encompasses crimes with a mens rea of mere recklessness.

Frampton studies criminal law and constitutional criminal procedure with a focus on how legal actors, institutions and doctrines have responded, or failed to respond, to the dramatic expansion of the carceral state. Frampton is co-author of an amicus brief in Borden.


Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee

Whether Arizona’s out-of-precinct policy and ballot-collection law violate the Civil Rights Act.

Gilbert teaches courses on election law, legislation, and law and economics, and directs UVA Law’s Center for Public Law and Political Economy.


Edwards v. Vannoy

Whether the Supreme Court’s decision in Ramos v. Louisiana, barring nonunanimous jury verdicts, applies retroactively to cases on federal collateral review.

Frampton studies criminal law and constitutional criminal procedure with a focus on how legal actors, institutions and doctrines have responded, or failed to respond, to the dramatic expansion of the carceral state. Frampton is author of an amicus brief in Edwards.


Facebook I​nc. v. Duguid

Whether the definition of an "automatic telephone dialing system" encompasses any device that can “store” and “automatically dial” telephone numbers.

Nachbar has both practiced and published in the field of telecommunications law. He co- authored the casebook “Communications Regulation.” His research focuses on the nature of regulation: how the law is used (and by whom) to shape and control behavior.


Federal Communications Commission v. Prometheus Radio Project

Whether a federal appeals court erred in vacating as arbitrary and capricious the Federal Communications Commission orders under review.

Nachbar has both practiced and published in the field of telecommunications law. He co- authored the casebook “Communications Regulation.” His research focuses on the nature of regulation: how the law is used (and by whom) to shape and control behavior.

Federal Republic of Germany v. Philipp

Whether the “expropriation exception” of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act provides jurisdiction over claims that a foreign sovereign has violated international human-rights law when taking property from its own national within its own borders.

Rutherglen has chaired the advisory committee on Fourth Circuit Rules and served as director of the Graduate Program for Judges at the Law School. He teaches admiralty, civil procedure, employment discrimination and professional responsibility.


Ford Motor Company v. Bandemer

Whether the “arise out of or relate to” requirement of the 14th Amendment's due process clause is met when none of the defendant’s forum contacts caused the plaintiff’s claims.

Rutherglen has chaired the advisory committee on Fourth Circuit Rules and served as director of the Graduate Program for Judges at the Law School. He teaches admiralty, civil procedure, employment discrimination and professional responsibility.


Ford Motor Company v. Montana Eighth Judicial ​District Court

Whether the “arise out of or relate to” requirement for a state court to exercise specific personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant is met when none of the defendant’s forum contacts caused the plaintiff’s claims.

Rutherglen has chaired the advisory committee on Fourth Circuit Rules and served as director of the Graduate Program for Judges at the Law School. He teaches admiralty, civil procedure, employment discrimination and professional responsibility.

Solum is an internationally recognized legal theorist who works in constitutional theory, procedure and the philosophy of law. Solum contributes to debates in constitutional theory and normative legal theory.


Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Whether free exercise plaintiffs can only succeed by proving a particular type of discrimination claim, and whether conditioning a religious agency’s ability to participate in the foster care system on taking actions that directly contradict the agency’s religious beliefs violates the First Amendment.

Cahn is an expert in family law, trusts and estates, feminist jurisprudence, reproductive technology, and aging and the law.

Laycock is perhaps the nation’s leading authority on the law of religious liberty and also on the law of remedies. He has argued before the Supreme Court five times. Laycock has co-authored an amicus brief in Fulton.

Schragger’s scholarship focuses on the intersection of constitutional law and local government law, federalism, urban policy, and the constitutional and economic status of cities. He also writes about law and religion.

Schwartzman focuses on law and religion, jurisprudence, political philosophy and constitutional law.


Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc.

Whether copyright protection extends to a software interface and whether, as the jury found, the petitioner’s use of a software interface in the context of creating a new computer program constitutes fair use.

Haley writes and teaches about the intersection of law and technology, particularly matters of privacy.

Oliar teaches courses on intellectual property law, entrepreneurship, and law and economics. He writes on those topics and their intersection with empirical and behavioral methods, legal history, property theory and cyberlaw.


Jones v. Mississippi

Whether the Eighth Amendment requires the sentencing authority to make a finding that a juvenile is permanently incorrigible before imposing a sentence of life without parole.

Bonnie is director of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. He has co-authored leading textbooks on criminal law and public health law and has devoted special attention during his career to public policies relating to mental health and substance abuse.


National Association of Broadcasters v. Prometheus Radio Project

Whether the Federal Communications Commission may repeal or modify media ownership rules that it determines are no longer “necessary in the public interest as the result of competition.”

Nachbar has both practiced and published in the field of telecommunications law. He co- authored the casebook “Communications Regulation.” His research focuses on the nature of regulation: how the law is used (and by whom) to shape and control behavior.

NCAA v. Al​ston

Whether the National Collegiate Athletic Association eligibility rules regarding compensation of student-athletes violate federal antitrust law.

Nachbar’s research focuses on the nature of regulation: how the law is used (and by whom) to shape and control behavior. His current work is on the relationship between public and private regulation. Throughout, his work has retained a focus on the regulation of markets and networks.


Nestlé USA v. Doe I

Whether an aiding and abetting claim against a domestic corporation brought under the Alien Tort Statute may overcome the extraterritoriality bar where the claim is based on allegations of general corporate activity in the United States and where the plaintiffs cannot trace the alleged harms.

Rutherglen has chaired the advisory committee on Fourth Circuit Rules and served as director of the Graduate Program for Judges at the Law School. He teaches admiralty, civil procedure, employment discrimination and professional responsibility.


Republic of Hungary v. Simon

Whether a district court may abstain from exercising jurisdiction under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act for reasons of international comity.

Rutherglen has chaired the advisory committee on Fourth Circuit Rules and served as director of the Graduate Program for Judges at the Law School. He teaches admiralty, civil procedure, employment discrimination and professional responsibility.


Tanzin v. Tanvir

Whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 permits suits seeking money damages against individual federal employees.

Laycock is perhaps the nation’s leading authority on the law of religious liberty and also on the law of remedies. He has argued before the Supreme Court five times. Laycock has co-authored an amicus brief in Tanzin.

Laycock: “In Tanzin v. Tanvir, the Court held unanimously that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act creates a damages remedy against federal officials who violate it. The statute expressly creates a cause of action and authorizes ‘appropriate relief.’ The provisions relating to remedies were pretty clearly modeled on § 1983, the statute that creates damage remedies against state and local officials who violate constitutional rights. ‘Appropriate relief’ appears to have been a shorthand way of referring to the whole body of remedies law under § 1983.The government demanded a super clear statement rule that would require the statute to expressly spell out damages, but the Court wasn’t willing to do that.
 
There are not many damage claims under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Most of the damages are violations of conscience, which the law would treat as a source of emotional distress, and which a jury of diverse religious views might not put a high value on. It is usually more important to get an injunction and  protect the religious exercise for the future.
 
But there are some cases with more tangible damages, and some cases in which the harm isn’t likely to be repeated, so that an injunctions is unavailable. Both of those things were true in Tanzin. FBI agents allegedly retaliated against the plaintiffs by putting them on the no-fly list. When they sued, the government took them off the list, so their claim for an injunction was moot. But in the meantime, one plaintiff had lost his job because he was unable to fly; others had forfeited plane tickets they had paid for; some had been unable to attend funerals and other family events. So for these plaintiffs, it was damages or nothing.”

Schragger’s scholarship focuses on the intersection of constitutional law and local government law, federalism, urban policy, and the constitutional and economic status of cities. He also writes about law and religion.

Schragger: “This case was fairly straightforward, as civil rights statutes generally have been read to include a damages remedy. The Court decided to treat the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) no differently. The Muslim plaintiffs won in this case, but it is important to remember that this Court previously upheld President Trump’s Muslim ban in 2018 — a much more consequential case for religious liberty. There is some irony in the fact that Muslim travelers improperly subjected to no-fly orders can receive damages under RFRA, but that travel to this country from predominantly Muslim countries can at the same time be categorical curtailed or eliminated.”

Schwartzman focuses on law and religion, jurisprudence, political philosophy and constitutional law.


Texas v. California

Whether the unconstitutional individual mandate to purchase minimum essential coverage is severable from the remainder of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Bonnie is director of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. He has co-authored leading textbooks on criminal law and public health law and has devoted special attention during his career to public policies relating to mental health and substance abuse.


Torres v. Madrid

Whether an unsuccessful attempt to detain a suspect by use of physical force is a “seizure” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.

Coughlin’s primary research and teaching interests are in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedure, feminist jurisprudence, and law and humanities.


United States v. Arthrex Inc.

Whether administrative patent judges of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are principal officers who must be appointed by the president with the Senate’s advice and consent, or “inferior Officers” whose appointment Congress has permissibly vested in a department head.

Duffy teaches torts, administrative law, patent law and international intellectual property law. He has testifed before Congress on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and was cited in the Federal Circuit’s opinion.


Wolf v. Innovation La​w Lab

Whether the Migrant Protection Protocols is a lawful implementation of the statutory authority.

Cope’s research focuses on the measurement of legal and political phenomena. Substantively, he is most interested in the law and politics of international institutions, migration, and relationships between domestic institutional structure and international behavior.

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

Media Contact

Mike Fox
Director of Media Relations
mfox@law.virginia.edu / (434) 982-6832

News Highlights