Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest federal court of the United States. In the legal system of the United States, the Supreme Court is the interpreter of federal constitutional law. The Court normally consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight justices who are nominated by the President. Once appointed, justices have life tenure unless they resign, retire, in modern discourse, the justices are often categorized as having conservative, moderate, or liberal philosophies of law and of judicial interpretation. Each justice has one vote, and while many cases are decided unanimously, the Court meets in the United States Supreme Court Building in Washington, D. C. The Supreme Court is sometimes referred to as SCOTUS, in analogy to other acronyms such as POTUS. The ratification of the United States Constitution established the Supreme Court in 1789 and its powers are detailed in Article Three of the Constitution. The Supreme Court is the court specifically established by the Constitution. The Court first convened on February 2,1790, by which five of its six initial positions had been filled. According to historian Fergus Bordewich, in its first session, he Supreme Court convened for the first time at the Royal Exchange Building on Broad Street and they had no cases to consider. After a week of inactivity, they adjourned until September, the sixth member was not confirmed until May 12,1790. Because the full Court had only six members, every decision that it made by a majority was made by two-thirds. However, Congress has always allowed less than the Courts full membership to make decisions, under Chief Justices Jay, Rutledge, and Ellsworth, the Court heard few cases, its first decision was West v. Barnes, a case involving a procedural issue. The Courts power and prestige grew substantially during the Marshall Court, the Marshall Court also ended the practice of each justice issuing his opinion seriatim, a remnant of British tradition, and instead issuing a single majority opinion. Also during Marshalls tenure, although beyond the Courts control, the impeachment, the Taney Court made several important rulings, such as Sheldon v. Nevertheless, it is primarily remembered for its ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford, which helped precipitate the Civil War. In the Reconstruction era, the Chase, Waite, and Fuller Courts interpreted the new Civil War amendments to the Constitution, during World War II, the Court continued to favor government power, upholding the internment of Japanese citizens and the mandatory pledge of allegiance. Nevertheless, Gobitis was soon repudiated, and the Steel Seizure Case restricted the pro-government trend, the Warren Court dramatically expanded the force of Constitutional civil liberties. It held that segregation in public schools violates equal protection and that traditional legislative district boundaries violated the right to vote
Clarence Thomas is an American judge, lawyer, and government official who currently serves as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Thomas succeeded Thurgood Marshall and is the second African American to serve on the court, Thomas grew up in Savannah, Georgia, and was educated at the College of the Holy Cross and at Yale Law School. In 1974, he was appointed an Assistant Attorney General in Missouri, in 1979, he became a legislative assistant to Senator John Danforth and in 1981 was appointed Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U. S. Department of Education. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan appointed Thomas Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in 1990, President George H. W. Bush nominated Thomas for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He served in that role for 16 months and on July 1,1991, was nominated by Bush to fill Marshalls seat on the United States Supreme Court, the U. S. Senate ultimately confirmed Thomas by a vote of 52–48. Since joining the court, Thomas has taken a textualist approach, seeking to uphold the original meaning of the United States Constitution and he is generally viewed as the most conservative member of the court. Clarence Thomas was born in 1948 in Pin Point, Georgia and he was the second of three children born to M. C. Thomas, a worker, and Leola Williams, a domestic worker. They were descendants of American slaves, and the family spoke Gullah as a first language, Thomass earliest-known ancestors were slaves named Sandy and Peggy who were born around the end of the 18th century and owned by wealthy Liberty County, Georgia planter Josiah Wilson. M. C. left his family when Thomas was two years old, Thomass mother worked hard but was sometimes paid only pennies per day. She had difficulty putting food on the table and was forced to rely on charity, after a house fire left them homeless, Thomas and his younger brother Myers were taken to live with his maternal grandparents in Savannah, Georgia. Thomas was seven when the family moved in with his grandfather, Myers Anderson. Living with his grandparents, Thomas enjoyed amenities such as indoor plumbing and his grandfather Myers Anderson had little formal education, but had built a thriving fuel oil business that also sold ice. Thomas calls his grandfather the greatest man I have ever known, when Thomas was 10, Anderson started taking the family to help at a farm every day from sunrise to sunset. His grandfather believed in hard work and self-reliance, he would counsel Thomas to never let the sun catch you in bed, Thomas grandfather also impressed upon his grandsons the importance of getting a good education. Thomas was the black person at his high school in Savannah. He considered entering the priesthood at the age of 16, and he also briefly attended Conception Seminary College, a Roman Catholic seminary in Missouri. No one in Thomass family had attended college, Thomas has said that during his first year in seminary, he was one of only three or four blacks attending the school
Carey v. Musladin
The Supreme Court ruled that the state court did not unreasonably apply clearly established federal law when it upheld the conviction. In 1994 Mathew Musladin shot and killed Tom Studer, Musladin admitted to killing Studer during the trial, but claimed he did so in self-defense. The jury rejected Musladins self-defense claim and convicted him of murder, during the trial, members of Studers family sat in the front row of the gallery wearing buttons with pictures of Studer. Musladins attorney objected to the buttons, but the court refused to order the buttons removed. Musladin appealed the decision to the California Court of Appeal, which affirmed the courts decision. Musladin then filed a habeas petition in federal court, which the court denied. The federal law in question was a test for inherent prejudice established by the Supreme Court in Estelle v. Williams 425 U. S.501, the test indicated prejudice against the defendant must be justified by an essential state interest. The appeals court found the test was applicable to behavior by private spectators, the state appealed to the United States Supreme Court. In both Williams and Flynn, the two cases cited by the court, the holdings were regarding government-sponsored action, whereas the buttons were worn by private spectators. Thomas pointed out there is no clear court holding on the test for inherently prejudicial action by private spectators. Lacking such a holding, it couldnt be said there was any clearly established federal law that the trial court violated by permitting the buttons. Three justices wrote opinions concurring in the judgment but disagreeing with parts of the reasoning, justice Souter indicated that prior precedent on prejudice in the courtroom applied generally, including to spectators. However, due to prior decisions specifically regarding similar spectator actions, justice Stevens embraced much of Souters opinion, but disagreed that the First Amendment would trump concerns about prejudice. The bulk of his concurring opinion endorsed the importance of dicta in guiding lower courts and he endorsed the future creation of such a precedent to clarify matters. Full text of the Supreme Court opinion from FindLaw
MedImmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc.
MedImmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc.549 U. S.118 was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States involving patent law. It arose from a lawsuit filed by MedImmune which challenged one of the Cabilly patents issued to Genentech, one of the central issues was whether a licensee retained the right to challenge a licensed patent, or whether this right was forfeited upon signing of the license agreement. The origin of the dispute was an interference proceeding between Genentech and Celltech which led to the issuance of a new patent in 2001,18 years after the original filing. This effectively granted Genentech a patent term of 29 years, MedImmune was a licensee of the later Cabilly patent, but argued that the term had been improperly extended and that it need not continue to pay royalties past the original expiry date in March 2006. The case was decided in favor of MedImmune, and the United States Patent, Genentech appealed the USPTO the ruling and the patent remained valid and enforceable until the appeal was concluded. Genentech prevailed during the reexamination of Cabilly II by the USPTO, glaxoSmithKline and Human Genome Sciences both are challenging the patent under antitrust law. This is based on the settlement between Genentech and Celltech and their dispute over the original Cabilly patent 4,816,567, both of which issued on March 28,1989. Cabilly II is patent 6331415 which issued December 18,2001. v. Vysis, Inc.359 F. 3d 1376, justice Thomas filed a dissenting opinion. Operation Restoration, How can Patent Holders protect themselves from MedImmune, using Stock and Stock Options to Minimize Patent Royalty Payment Risks After Medimmune v. Genentech. New York University Journal of Law and Business, USPTO issues double patenting rejection on Genentechs 29 year old patent Patent Baristas Blog. Genentech Hit with Adverse Patent Ruling