This edition of "Petitions to watch" features cases up for consideration at the Justices’ October 8 conference.  These are petitions raising issues that Tom has determined have a reasonable chance of being granted, although we post them here without consideration of whether they present appropriate vehicles in which to decide those issues.

Denali, L.L.C. v. Utah State Tax Commission

Docket: 09-1442
Issue(s): 1) Whether Utah Code Ann. Title 59 Chapter 27 is a content-based tax that violates the First Amendment; and 2) whether that tax passes intermediate scrutiny under United States v. O'Brien, 391 U.S. 367 (1968).

Certiorari stage documents:

Association of Christian Schools International v. Stearns

Docket: 09-1461
Issue(s): Whether, for purposes of eligibility for admission, the rejection by the University of California system and California State University of courses in religious high schools having a religious viewpoint is constitutional under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

Certiorari stage documents:

Borough of Duryea v. Guarnieri (Granted )

Docket: 09-1476
Issue(s): Whether state and local government employees may sue their employers for retaliation under the First Amendment’s Petition Clause when they petitioned the government on matters of private concern.

Certiorari stage documents:

Aquino v. Suiza Dairy

Docket: 10-74
Issue(s): Whether a federal court can order retrospective monetary relief against a sovereign as long as the necessary funds do not come directly from the general treasury.

Certiorari stage documents:

CVSG Information:

Wyeth LLC v. Kirkland

Docket: 10-222
Issue(s): Whether, under the doctrine of fraudulent misjoinder, a federal court should retain jurisdiction over a removed action when claims by non-diverse plaintiffs have been joined with claims by diverse plaintiffs.

Certiorari stage documents:

__________________________________________________________________________________________

The following petitions have been re-listed for the conference of October 8.  If any other paid petitions are redistributed for this conference, we will add them below as soon as their redistribution is noted on the docket.

Wong v. Smith

Docket: 09-1031
Issue(s): Do 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) and this Court’s precedent permit federal habeas corpus relief on a claim that a state judge unconstitutionally “coerces” jurors to return a guilty verdict by identifying specific evidence in the case as important and instructing them to consider it?

Certiorari stage documents:

Bond v. United States (Granted )

Docket: 09-1227
Issue(s): Whether a criminal defendant convicted under a federal statute has standing to challenge her conviction on grounds that, as applied to her, the statute is beyond the federal government’s enumerated powers and inconsistent with the Tenth Amendment.

Certiorari stage documents:

Beer v. United States

Docket: 09-1395
Issue(s): Whether the Compensation Clause of Article III prevents Congress from withholding the future judicial salary adjustments established by the Ethics Reform Act of 1989.

Certiorari stage documents:

Camreta v. Greene (Granted )

Docket: 09-1454
Issue(s): (1) Whether the traditional warrant/warrant exception requirements that apply to seizures of suspected criminals should apply to an interview of the child in light of reports of child abuse, or whether instead a balancing standard should apply; and (2) whether the Ninth Circuit’s constitutional ruling is reviewable, notwithstanding that it ruled in the petitioner’s favor on qualified immunity grounds.

Certiorari stage documents:

Alford v. Greene (Granted )

Docket: 09-1478
Issue(s): Whether the Fourth Amendment requires a warrant, a court order, parental consent, or exigent circumstances before law enforcement and child welfare officials may conduct a temporary seizure and interview at a public school of a child whom they reasonably suspect was being sexually abused.

Certiorari stage documents:

United States v. Hagen

Docket: 09-1520
Issue(s): Whether a conviction for misdemeanor assault by intentionally and knowingly causing bodily injury to a family member qualifies as a conviction for a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.”

Certiorari stage documents:

DePierre v. United States (Granted )

Docket: 09-1533
Issue(s): Whether the term “cocaine base” encompasses every form of cocaine that is classified chemically as a base, or whether the term “cocaine base” is limited to “crack” cocaine.

Certiorari stage documents:

Global-Tech Appliances, Inc. v. SEB S.A. (Granted )

Docket: 10-6
Issue(s): Whether the legal standard for the "state of mind" element of a claim for actively inducing infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b) is “deliberate indifference of a known risk” that an infringement may occur or instead “purposeful, culpable expression and conduct” to encourage an infringement.

Certiorari stage documents:

Allen v. Lawhorn

Docket: 10-24
Issue(s): Whether a state court’s determination that trial counsel’s waiver of a penalty-phase closing argument did not prejudice the defendant is “contrary to” Supreme Court precedent.

Certiorari stage documents:

Weise v. Casper

Docket: 10-67
Issue(s): Whether First Amendment law prohibits government officials who are speaking at events that are open to the public and paid for by taxpayers from excluding people from the audience on the basis of their viewpoints.

Certiorari stage documents:

Wilson v. Corcoran

Docket: 10-91
Issue(s): Whether a state capital defendant has a constitutional right to a sentencing decision that is not informed by facts that are neither elements of his crime or aggravated circumstances authorized by statute, and, if so, whether a federal court may grant habeas relief based on its own finding that the state trial court improperly considered non-statutory factors when imposing its sentence.

Certiorari stage documents:

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline