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.

Recent Cases

Heffernan v. City of Paterson In April 2016 the Court ruled in favor of clinic client Jeffrey Heffernan, a police officer who had been demoted because his supervisor incorrectly believed that he was campaigning for a mayoral candidate. The Court agreed with our argument that Heffernan’s demotion violated the First Amendment. We collaborated on this case with Mark Frost, who represented Heffernan in the lower courts, and with Fred Rowley and his colleagues at Munger Tolles & Olson.

Merits brief
Merits reply brief
Certiorari petition
Certiorari reply


Torres v. LynchIn May 2016 the Court ruled against clinic client Jorge Luna Torres. By a 5-3 vote, the Court disagreed with our argument that Luna is entitled to seek cancellation of removal on the ground that the New York offense of arson is not "described in" the federal arson statute. We collaborated on this case with Matthew Guadagno, who represented Luna in the lower courts.

Merits brief
Merits reply brief
Certiorari petition
Certiorari reply


Utah v. StrieffThe Court heard oral argument in February 2016. Clinic client Edward Strieff was unlawfully stopped by the police. During the stop, the police conducted a warrant check, discovered that Strieff had an outstanding arrest warrant, arrested him on the warrant, searched him, and found drugs. We argue that the drugs should be suppressed as the fruit of the unlawful stop, despite the discovery of the arrest warrant. We are collaborating on this case with Joan Watt and Patrick Anderson, who represented Strieff in the lower courts.

Merits brief
Brief in opposition


Betterman v. MontanaIn May 2016 the Court ruled against clinic client Brandon Betterman. The Court disagreed with our argument that the Sixth Amendment’s Speedy Trial Clause applies to delays between conviction and sentencing. We collaborated on this case with Fred Rowley and his colleagues at Munger Tolles & Olson, and with Koan Mercer, who represented Betterman in the lower courts.

Merits brief
Merits reply brief
Certiorari petition
Certiorari reply


Nelson v. ColoradoPetition for certiorari pending. Colorado, like many states, imposes various monetary penalties on people convicted of crimes, but unlike other states, Colorado does not refund these penalties 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