Petitions / Supreme Court Activity

Here is an update on recent activity at the Supreme Court in cases decided by the Federal Circuit. As for pending cases, in Rudisill v. McDonough, a veterans case, the government filed its merits brief. In addition, the Court set dates for oral arguments in both Rudisill v. McDonough and Vidal v. Elster, a trademark case. As for pending petitions, one new petition was filed in a pro se case. Additionally, the government waived its right to respond in one veterans case and five pro se cases. Here are the details.

Granted Cases

In Rudisill v. McDonough, the government submitted its merits brief. In this case, the Supreme Court is considering whether “a veteran who has served two separate and distinct periods of qualifying service under the Montgomery GI Bill, . . .  and under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, . . . is entitled to receive a total of 48 months of education benefits as between both programs, without first exhausting the Montgomery benefit in order to obtain the more generous Post-9/11 benefit.” The government’s brief looks to the language of 38 U.S.C. § 3327(a), asserting that the statute’s use of the phrase “‘may elect to receive’ Post-9/11 benefits implies that those veterans will receive those benefits only if they elect them.” The government further contends that the petitioner’s interpretation of § 3327 “cannot overcome the statute’s plain text” because the meaning of the statute “turns on the enacted text, not on speculation about congressional intent.” Additionally, the government argues, petitioner’s interpretation “would preclude veterans with multiple periods of service from making elections under Section 3327 and thus would deprive them of the opportunity to obtain those advantages.”

The Court set the oral argument in Rudisill v. McDonough for Wednesday, November 8.

In Vidal v. Elster, the Court set the oral argument for Wednesday, November 1. This case asks the Supreme Court to review whether the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s “refusal to register a mark under Section 1052(c) [of the Lanham Act] violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment when the mark contains criticism of a government official or public figure.” 

Petition Cases

New Petitions

In Aljindi v. United States, a pro se petitioner filed a petition.

Waivers of Right to Respond

The government waived its right to respond in six cases: