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

Sprint Communications, Inc. v. Jacobs, No. 12-815: Sprint Communications withheld payment of intercarrier access fees imposed by the Iowa communications company Windstream for long-distance Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls after concluding that federal law preempted intrastate regulation of VoIP traffic. When Windstream, in response, threatened to block Sprint calls, Sprint filed a complaint with the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) asking it to enjoin Windstream from doing so. Although Windstream retracted its threat, the IUB continued the proceedings and ruled that intrastate fees applied to VoIP calls. Sprint then commenced a federal suit against the IUB members seeking a declaration that federal law preempted the IUB’s decision, while at the same time petitioning the Iowa state courts to reverse the IUB’s decision on the basis of preemption and state law grounds. The District Court, upon IUB’s motion, abstained under Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971) in light of the state suit, and the Eighth Circuit affirmed. Today, the Court reversed, holding that Younger abstention was inappropriate because this was not a circumstance of state criminal prosecution, civil enforcement proceedings, or a civil proceeding touching on a state courts’ ability to perform its judicial functions – the only circumstances in which Younger applies.

The Court's decision is available here.

Unite Here Local 355 v. Mulhall, No. 12-99: The Court today dismissed the writ of certiorari in this case as improvidently granted. The case was to address the antibribery provision under Section 302(a) of the Labor Management Relations Act, but was dismissed upon concerns that the case was moot or that the sole plaintiff lacked Article III standing.

The Court's decision is available here.