The Supreme Court of the United States announced three decisions today:

Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc., No. 13-317: In Basic, Inc. v. Levinson, 485 U.S. 224 (1988), the Court held that plaintiffs can satisfy the reliance element of a securities fraud claim under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and SEC Rule 10b-5 by invoking a presumption that the price of stock traded in an efficient market reflects all public, material information, including material misrepresentations. Respondent Erica P. John Fund commenced a securities fraud class action against Halliburton and one of its executives, invoking the “Basic presumption.” Halliburton opposed class certification, arguing that evidence it had introduced rebutted the Basic presumption by proving the alleged misrepresentations had no impact on stock price, rendering class certification inappropriate because investors would have to prove reliance on an individual basis. The district court nevertheless certified the class and the Fifth Circuit affirmed, holding that Halliburton could use its price-impact evidence only at trial, not at the class certification stage. Today the Supreme Court declined Halliburton’s request to overrule Basic, but reversed the Fifth Circuit’s decision and held that defendants must be afforded the opportunity before class certification to defeat the Basic presumption through evidence that an alleged misrepresentation did not actually affect the market price of the stock.

The Court's decision is available here.

Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 12-1146: In response to the decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007), the EPA promulgated regulations subjecting some “stationary sources” (such as factories and power plants) to the permitting requirements of the “Prevention of Significant Deterioration” (“PSD”) provisions of the Clean Air Act based on the sources’ potential to emit greenhouse gases above a certain threshold level. Numerous parties, including several states, challenged the EPA’s actions in the D.C. Circuit. Today, separate majorities of the Supreme Court held that (1) the Clean Air Act neither compels nor permits the EPA to adopt an interpretation of the Act requiring a source to obtain a PSD or Title V permit on the sole basis of its potential greenhouse-gas emissions, but (2) the Act does allow the EPA to require sources that would need permits based on their emission of conventional pollutants to comply with “Best Available Control Technology” (“BACT”) requirements for greenhouse gases.

The Court's decision is available here.

Loughrin v. United States, No. 13-316: The federal bank fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. §1344(2), makes it a crime to “knowingly execut[e] a scheme . . . to obtain” property owned by, or under the custody of, a bank “by means of false or fraudulent pretenses.” Petitioner was convicted under the statute for forging stolen checks, using them to buy goods at a store, then returning the goods for cash. Today the Court affirmed his conviction, holding that Section 1344(2) does not require the Government to prove that the defendant intended to defraud a financial institution.

The Court's decision is available here.

The Court also granted certiorari in the following cases today:

Department of Transportation v. Association of American Railroads, No. 13-1080: Section 207(a) of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 requires that the Federal Railroad Administration (“FRA”) and Amtrak “jointly . . . develop” the metrics and standards for Amtrak’s performance that will be used in part to determine whether the Surface Transportation Board (“STB”) will investigate a freight railroad for failing to provide the preference for Amtrak’s passenger trains that is required by 49 U.S.C. §24308(c). In the event that the FRA and Amtrak cannot agree on the metrics and standards within 180 days, Section 207(d) of the Act provides for the STB to “appoint an arbitrator to assist the parties in resolving their disputes through binding arbitration.” The question presented is whether Section 207 effects an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power to a private entity.

Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank, No. 13-1211: To own a trademark, one must be the first to use it; the first to use a mark has “priority.” The trademark “tacking” doctrine permits a party to “tack” the use of an older mark onto a new mark for purposes of determining priority. The question presented is whether the jury or the court determines whether use of an older mark may be tacked to a newer one.

Whitfield v. United States, No. 13-9026: The question presented is whether 18 U.S.C. §2113(e), which makes it a separate crime for a bank robber to force another person “to accompany him” during the robbery or while in flight, requires more than a de minimismovement of the victim.