Supreme Court Activity

Recent Supreme Court Activity

Here is an update on recent activity at the Supreme Court in cases decided by the Federal Circuit. With respect to the Supreme Court’s October 2021 term, which began this week, the Court still has not granted any petitions in cases decided by the Federal Circuit. Since our last update, however, two new petitions have been filed with the Court: one in a veterans case and one filed by a pro se petitioner. As for previously filed petitions, one brief in opposition and two waivers of right to respond were filed. Finally, the Court denied 22 petitions following its first conference of the new term. Here are the details.

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Opinions & Orders – April 30, 2021

The Federal Circuit issued nine opinions and orders this morning:

  • The court issued a precedential opinion in a veterans law case, affirming the upholding of a denial of an earlier effecting date for a service-connected disability over a dissent by Judge Newman.
  • The court issued two orders and a precedential opinion in another veterans law case on remand from the Supreme Court. The first order granted panel rehearing, the panel withdrew and replaced its original opinion with a new precedential opinion, and the second order denied rehearing en banc. The new panel opinion declined to apply Auer deference to a Department of Veterans Affairs regulation and affirmed a decision of the Veterans Court, which in turn had affirmed a decision by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals denying an earlier effective date for a service-connected disability. Judge Reyna dissented. Notably, the order denying rehearing en banc elicited five separate concurring and dissenting opinions.
  • The court issued a related nonprecedential order and precedential opinion in a trade case. The order unsealed the opinion, which affirmed the Court of International Trade’s decision to affirm the Department of Commerce’s antidumping duty order covering carbon and certain alloy steel wire rod from Mexico.
  • The court issued two nonprecedential opinions affirming the Court of Federal Claims in two government contract appeals involving the same parties.
  • The court issued a Rule 36 summary affirmance in case appealed from the Northern District of California.

Here are the introductions to the opinions, text from the orders, and a link to the Rule 36 judgment.

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Online Symposium: An Overview of the Federal Circuit’s Most Important 2020 Veterans’ Law Decisions

Guest Post by Blair E. Thompson

In 2020, the Federal Circuit addressed important questions regarding “pro-claimant” policies and rules governing the Department of Veterans Affairs. The court also approved VA’s interpretation of its regulation regarding discharges due to “willful and persistent misconduct” and paved the way for challenges to VA’s internal adjudication policies and procedures manual.

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Opinions & Orders – October 21, 2020

This morning, the Federal Circuit issued a nonprecedential erratum. Here is the text of the erratum.

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Opinions & Orders – August 12, 2020

This morning the Federal Circuit issued two precedential opinions in a government contracts case and a veterans case. Here are the introductions to the opinions.

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