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

Murphy v. Smith, 16-1067

When a prisoner obtains a monetary judgment in a section 1983 suit and the prisoner’s lawyer is awarded attorney’s fees, the Prison Litigation Reform Act requires that a portion of the judgment “not to exceed 25 percent” go toward the fees. In a certiorari petition we filed on behalf of former prisoner Charles Murphy, we argue that the Seventh Circuit erroneously requires prisoners to pay the full 25 percent in every case. We are collaborating on this case with Fabian Rosati, who represented Murphy in the lower courts.

Certiorari petition
Certiorari reply


Xue v. Sessions, 16-1274

The Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit holds that being forced to practice one’s religion in secret does not constitute “persecution” for asylum purposes. In a certiorari petition we filed on behalf of Ting Xue, who seeks asylum because in China he is not allowed to practice Christianity openly, we argue that a person suffers persecution if he must practice his religion in secret to avoid state-imposed punishment. We are collaborating on this case with Fred Rowley and his colleagues at Munger, Tolles & Olson, who represented Xue in the lower courts.

Certiorari petition


Bolden v. Missouri, 16-1308

When a criminal defendant is deprived of counsel at a pretrial competency proceeding and is subsequently convicted, some jurisdictions hold that the appropriate remedy is to conduct a retrospective competency hearing to determine whether the defendant was competent several years earlier when he was tried. In a certiorari petition we filed on behalf of Darrell Bolden, we argue that a retrospective competency hearing is not an adequate remedy, and that the appropriate remedy is the reversal of the conviction. We are collaborating on this case with Amy Bartholow and the Missouri State Public Defender, who represented Bolden in the lower courts.

Certiorari petition
Certiorari reply

Recent Cases

Matal v. Tam, 137 S. Ct. 1744 (2017)

Merits brief
Certiorari-stage brief for respondent


Nelson v. Colorado, 137 S. Ct. 1249 (2017)

Merits brief
Merits reply brief
Certiorari petition
Certiorari reply


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