The latest edition of “Petitions to Watch” features cases up for consideration at the Justices’ private conference of May 8. As always, the list reflects the petitions on the Court’s paid docket that Tom has deemed to have a reasonable chance of being granted. To access previous editions of Petitions to Watch, including the list for the upcoming conference of April 25, visit our archives here on SCOTUSwiki.

Issues raised in the current list of petitions include asylum eligibility for Chinese spouses in traditional marriages, antitrust implications arising from the master tobacco settlement, the impact of failing to mention post-release supervision in a plea agreement, and whether Chicago violated the First Amendment rights of religious groups surrounding O’Hare International Airport.

Conference of May 8, 2008

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Docket: 07-756
Case name: Yang v. Mukasey
Issue: Whether members of traditional marriages not recognized by the Chinese government may qualify for asylum if their spouse is forced to undergo an abortion or sterilization.

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Docket: 07-961
Case name: Centerior Energy Corporation, et al. v. Milkulski, et al.
Issue: Whether federal courts have jurisdiction over shareholder suits filed under state law alleging overpayment of corporate income taxes. (Disclosure: Akin Gump represents the petitioner.)

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Docket: 07-995
Case name: Sanders v. Brown, et al.
Issue: Whether the Sherman Antitrust Act preempts California laws governing tobacco manufacturers that did not enter the Master Settlement Agreement, and whether companies that did enter the agreement enjoy immunity under the NoerrPennington doctrine. (Disclosure: Howe & Russell co-represents the petitioner.)

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Docket: 07-1006
Case name: Vyta Corp. v. Depository Trust and Clearing Corp., et al.
Issue: Whether state-law claims alleging misrepresentations and omissions by securities transaction clearing agencies are conflict preempted.

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Docket: 07-1016
Case name: Buss v. Stevens
Issue: Whether, for purposes of habeas corpus, a capital defendant receives ineffective assistance of counsel from attorneys who call an expert during the sentencing phase whose original report found no evidence of mental health problems.

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Docket: 07-1043
Case name: New York v. Hill
Issue: Whether, under Santobello v. New York (1971), a defendant's guilty plea must be vacated if he was not initially informed that he would be required to serve a period supervision following his release from prison.

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Docket: 07-1070
Case name: Ormco Corp. v. Align Technology, Inc.
Issue: Whether courts may look beyond the text of the claims in a patent to determine the scope of its inventor's right.

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Docket: 07-1127
Case name: St. John's United Church of Christ, et al. v. Chicago, et al.
Issue: Whether Chicago violated the Free Exercise Clause by, in efforts to expand O'Hare International Airport, seeking to amend state law to exempt religious cemeteries surrounding the airport from the Illinois Religious Freedom and Restoration Act.

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