The Supreme Court of the United States granted review in two cases today:

Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles, No. 11-1450: When a named plaintiff attempts to defeat a defendant’s right of removal under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 by filing with a class action complaint a “stipulation” that attempts to limit the damages he “seeks” for the absent putative class members to less than the $5 million threshold for federal jurisdiction, and the defendant establishes that the actual amount in controversy, absent the “stipulation,” exceeds $5 million, is the “stipulation” binding on absent class members so as to destroy federal jurisdiction?

Descamps v. United States, No. 11-9540: When assessing a state criminal conviction to determine if it qualifies as a “violent felony” under the federal Armed Career Criminal Act, to what extent may a federal court look beyond the elements of the state law definition of the crime at issue?