Constitutional Litigation

Sossamon v. Texas
Mr. Geyser was the lead architect of all briefing and appellate strategy in this landmark case involving Congress’s spending power and state sovereignty. In his last week in government service, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a winning 6-2 decision, largely tracking the arguments in Mr. Geyser’s brief. (Supreme Court Opinion | Merits Brief)

Severance v. Patterson
On certified questions from the Fifth Circuit, Mr. Geyser argued, and after winning “a rare motion to rehear the case” (Austin American-Statesman), re-argued one of Texas’s most important cases in recent memory—a takings challenge to the public’s historic access to open beaches. Mr. Geyser represented the Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office before the Fifth Circuit and the Texas Supreme Court. (First Oral Argument Video [Mr. Geyser’s presentation begins at 16:45 (audio) and 17:09 (video)] | Second Oral Argument Audio [Mr. Geyser’s presentation begins at 19:52] )

Rhine v. Deaton
Mr. Geyser was the lead author of Texas’s invitation brief in this historic case, marking the first time the U.S. Supreme Court called for a state solicitor general to file a brief expressing the views of a State. The petition raised federal questions concerning the due-process rights of indigent parties in parental-termination proceedings, and challenged the entire Texas statutory framework, on equal-protection grounds, for appointing counsel in those cases. The U.S. Supreme Court adopted the recommendation in Texas’s brief and denied review. (Successful Invitation Brief)

Dollar Gen. Corp. v. Miss. Band of Choctaw Indians [Read more here]
Mr. Geyser worked with a team of firm lawyers in preparing an amicus brief on behalf of Mississippi and a coalition of States. The case presented a critical question regarding the scope of tribal jurisdiction: whether Indian tribal courts were authorized to adjudicate civil-tort claims against nonmembers. The firm’s brief was joined by Mississippi, Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, and Washington—marking the first time that any State has supported a finding of tribal jurisdiction in a major case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Our side prevailed before an equally divided Court. (Our Brief)

Parties Confidential
Mr. Geyser took the lead in developing a comprehensive constitutional challenge to state laws limiting the ability of non-residents to participate on equal terms in the local marijuana marketplace. Mr. Geyser’s work helped convince legislators to pass or amend laws eliminating the challenged restrictions for non-resident individuals and businesses.