This edition of "Petitions to Watch" features cases up for consideration at the Justices' next private conference on Friday, April 23.  As always, it lists the petitions on the Court's paid docket that Tom has deemed to have a reasonable chance of being granted.  Links to all previous editions are available in our SCOTUSwiki archive.

Title: De la Rosa v. Holder
Docket: 09-594
Issue: Whether a lawful permanent resident who was convicted by guilty plea of an offense that renders him deportable and excludable under differently phrased statutory subsections, but who did not leave the United States between his conviction and the commencement of removal proceedings, is categorically foreclosed from seeking discretionary relief from removal under former Section 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Title: The Real Truth About Obama, Inc. v. Federal Election Commission
Docket: 09-724
Issues: (1) Whether the district court applied proper legal standards to deny a preliminary injunction permitting The Real Truth About Obama, Inc. (RTAO) to engage in issue advocacy concerning the positions of a public figure on issues in public debate; (2) whether the First Amendment requires speech-protective preliminary-injunction standards for issue advocacy; and (3) whether the following provisions violate the First or Fifth Amendment, and/or exceed statutory authority: (a) 11 C.F.R. § 100.22(b), the Federal Election Commission's non-”magic words” “express advocacy” definition; (b) 11 C.F.R. § 100.57, FEC's rule treating all of a donation as a regulable “contribution” if made in response to a communication “indicat[ing] that any portion…will be used to support or oppose the election of a…federal candidate”; (c) FEC's enforcement policy for imposing “political committee” status based on activity other than regulable election-related activity; and (d) 11 C.F.R. § 114.15, FEC's test for determining regulable “electioneering communications” that purports to implement the “appeal to vote” test.

Title: Ortiz v. Jordan
Docket: 09-737
Issue: May a party appeal an order denying summary judgment after a full trial on the merits if the party chose not to appeal the order before trial?

Title: Simmons v. Galvin
Docket: 09-920
Issues: (1) Whether Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (“VRA”), 42 U.S.C. § 1973, applies to state felon disenfranchisement laws that result in discrimination on the basis of race; and (2) whether the Massachusetts felon disenfranchisement scheme established in 2000 violates the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution as applied to those Massachusetts felons who were incarcerated and yet had the right to vote prior to 2000?

Title: Ogle v. Fidelity & Deposit Company of Maryland
Docket: 09-938
Issue: Whether an unsecured creditor in a bankruptcy case may include post-petition attorneys' fees as part of its pre-petition claim.

Title: Hogan v. Kaltag Tribal Council
Docket: 09-960
Issue: Whether the hundreds of Indian tribes throughout the State of Alaska have authority to initiate and adjudicate child custody proceedings involving a nonmember and then to compel the State to give full faith and credit to the decrees entered in those proceedings.

Title: Mountain America v. Huffman
Docket: 09-1007
Issues: (1) Whether a taxpayer's claim, on Equal Protection grounds, that its ad valorem property tax assessment is excessive may be defeated by a separate neighborhood designation which is based exclusively on recent market pricing differences with otherwise comparable properties; (2) whether such a claim inherently fails due to the absence of a separate appraisal of the taxpayer's property; (3) whether such a claim may be defeated by the contention that the systematic annual underassessment of the other properties occurred over several years prior to the taxpayer's acquisition of its property and, thus, did not preclude prospective seasonal cure of the disparity; and (4) whether the institutional interest of the county commission in the fiscal affairs of the county, as it considered the merits of the petitioners' objections to their ad valorem property tax assessments, constituted a facial violation of their rights to Due Process.

Below, between now and the April 23 conference, we will note any petitions that are relisted for this conference from previous editions of Petitions to Watch.

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline