Supreme Court Clinic

Supreme CourtIn UCLA’s Supreme Court Clinic, students and faculty work together on real cases before the United States Supreme Court.

If you are an attorney who would like our assistance with any aspect of Supreme Court practice, please contact the clinic director, Professor Stuart Banner.

Current Cases

Davis v. Montana, 16-123

Montana is one of only a few states that still use non-lawyers as judges in criminal cases that could result in incarceration. On behalf of clinic clients Kelly Davis and Shane Sherman, we argue that due process requires the judge to be lawyer. We are collaborating on this case with James Reavis, who represented Davis and Sherman in the lower courts.

Certiorari petition


Lee v. Tam, 15-1293

The Lanham Act prohibits the registration of a trademark that “may disparage” persons or institutions. On behalf of clinic client Simon Tam, the leader of a Portland-based band called The Slants, we argue that this provision is contrary to the First Amendment. We are collaborating on this case with John Connell, Ronald Coleman, and their colleagues at Archer & Greiner, who represented Tam in the lower courts.

Certiorari-stage brief for respondent


Nelson v. Colorado, 15-1256

Colorado, like many states, imposes various monetary penalties on people convicted of crimes, but when a conviction is reversed, Colorado requires defendants to prove their innocence to get their money back. On behalf of clinic clients Shannon Nelson and Louis Madden, we argue that this requirement is inconsistent with due process. We are collaborating on this case with Suzan Almony and Ned Jaeckle, who represented Nelson and Madden in the lower courts.

Certiorari petition


Huang v. City of Los Angeles, 15-1507

This case involves two circuit splits over the meaning of the Tax Injunction Act, which deprives federal courts of jurisdiction to hear challenges to state and local taxes. First, does the Act apply to tax penalties as well as to taxes? Second, does the Act bar a taxpayer from bringing a Fourth Amendment challenge to a tax collector’s warrantless search of business records? We are collaborating on this case with Frank Weiser, who represented clinic client Roger Huang in the lower courts.

Certiorari petition


Murr v. Wisconsin, 15-214

St. Croix County, Wisconsin, allows the development of a substandard lot only if the lot is in separate ownership from adjacent lots. In this Takings Clause case, we filed an amicus brief on behalf of the National Association of Counties et al., in which we demonstrate that such “merger” provisions have been so common for so long that they could not surprise any well-advised landowner. We are collaborating on this case with Lisa Soronen of the State and Local Legal Center.

Brief of Amici Curiae National Association of Counties et al.

Recent Cases

Heffernan v. City of Paterson, 136 S. Ct. 1412 (2016)

Merits brief
Merits reply brief
Certiorari petition
Certiorari reply


Torres v. Lynch, 136 S. Ct. 1619 (2016)

Merits brief
Merits reply brief
Certiorari petition
Certiorari reply


Betterman v. Montana, 136 S. Ct. 1609 (2016)

Merits brief
Merits reply brief
Certiorari petition
Certiorari reply


Utah v. Strieff, 136 S. Ct. 2056 (2016)

Merits brief
Brief in opposition