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2011-2012 Supreme Court Term: Decision in Kurns v. Railroad Friction Products Corp.: Statutory or Constitutional Stare Decisis?

March 1, 2012

Yesterday the Supreme Court issued a decision in Kurns v.  Railroad Friction Products Corp.  This is yet another judicial decision ruling that a piece of federal regulatory legislation should be interpreted to preempt state common law tort claims.  A disturbing element in this case is the willingness of the Court to give precedential effect to a case […]

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Ninth Circuit Affirms Lower Court Decision Striking Down Key Portions of S.B. 1070, Arizona Immigration Law

April 17, 2011

On Monday April 11 in the case of United States v. Arizona the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of a federal district court that had declared four provisions of S.B. 1070, the Arizona immigration statute, unconstitutional.

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2010-2011 Supreme Court Term: Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America

February 28, 2011

On February 23 the Supreme Court rendered its decision in Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America, a preemption case.  The outcome in this case turned upon the Court's view of the intent of a regulatory agency, the Department of Transportation (DOT).

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2010-2011 Supreme Court Term: Oral Argument in Brusewitz v. Wyeth

October 29, 2010

     On October 12, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Brusewitz v. Wyeth, No. o9-152.  Here is a link to the transcript of the oral argument.  The issue in this case is whether the federal Vaccine Act utterly preempts design defect lawsuits against manufacturers of certain vaccines, or whether some of these lawsuits may […]

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California Proposition 19: Legalization of Marijuana

September 30, 2010

     This fall California voters will decide whether to legalize possession and sale of small amounts of marijuana by persons over 21.

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2010-2011 Supreme Court Term: Three More Consumer Claim Preemption Cases

September 19, 2010

     Professor Padfield intriguingly asks, "To What Extent Is the Roberts Court Pro-Business?"  One of the most critical areas where we might find an answer is the ongoing battle between America's manufacturers and consumers (and their surrogates the insurance industry and the trial lawyers) which continues unabated into the current term of the Supreme Court.  As […]

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Supreme Court Affirms Verdict for Plaintiff in Wyeth Case and Dismisses al-Marri Case as Moot

March 7, 2009

     The Supreme Court has decided for the plaintiff who sued the drug manufacturer Wyeth and has granted the government's request to dismiss the prisoner al-Marri's constitutional claim. 

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The 2008-2009 Supreme Court Term: (5) Altria Group, Inc. v. Good – Another Tort Preemption Case

December 15, 2008

     The Supreme Court decided another tort preemption case today.  The Court somewhat clarified the law of preemption, but it was another 5-4 decision.

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The 2008-2009 Supreme Court Term: (2) Preemption of Drug Warning Claims

November 18, 2008

     This year in Wyeth v. Levine the Supreme Court will decide whether or not people can sue a drug manufacturer under State law when the label for the drug is misleading or insufficient.  The drug manufacturers contend that these lawsuits are preempted by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). 

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