This edition of "Petitions to watch" features cases up for consideration at the Justices' November 12 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.

Harper v. Maverick Recording Company

Docket: 10-94
Issue(s): Whether the "inadvertent innocent infringer" defense to copyright infringement should be eliminated for all Internet music downloading.

Certiorari stage documents:

Core Communications, Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission

Docket: 10-185
Issue(s): Whether the FCC may impose a below-cost rate cap on a category of rates concededly covered by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, notwithstanding that Act's requirement of cost-based rates and explicit assignment of rate-setting authority to state utility commissions rather than the FCC.

Certiorari stage documents:

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission v. Federal Communications Commission

Docket: 10-189
Issue(s): Whether the court of appeals violated Supreme Court precedent by upholding a ruling allowing the Federal Communications Commission to set rates for local intrastate communications by replacing those state rates with a mandatory interstate rate.

Certiorari stage documents:

E.S.H. v. K.D.

Docket: 10-204
Issue(s): 1) Whether denying a parent the right to raise his child in the absence of a compelling state interest and narrowly tailored means violates the Fourteenth Amendment, 2) whether Pennsylvania's in loco parentis doctrine, which allows legal strangers to seek custody of a child, violates the right of the child's parent to raise his child, and 3) whether a showing that a parent's action or inaction resulted in harm to the child is required to demonstrate a "compelling" state interest warranting the state's interference with a parent's right to raise his child.

Certiorari stage documents:

Williams v. United States

Docket: 10-212
Issue(s): Whether a defendant may be convicted of "simple assault" under 18 U.S.C. § 111(a) when the government has neither pleaded nor proved that the defendant engaged in assaultive conduct.

Certiorari stage documents:

The following petitions have been re-listed for the conference of November 12.  If any other paid petitions are re-distributed for this conference, we will add them below as soon as their re-distribution is noted on the docket.

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:

Alderman v. United States

Docket: 09-1555
Issue(s): Whether Scarborough v. United States (1977) recognizes a distinct Commerce Clause authority, beyond the three categories recognized in United States v. Lopez (1995), United States v. Morrison (2000), and Gonzales v. Raich (2005), such that a federal statute which “cannot be justified as a regulation of the channels of commerce, as a protection of the instrumentalities of commerce, or as a regulation of intrastate activity that substantially affects interstate commerce,” may be sustained based on a “minimal nexus” between the activity regulated and interstate commerce.

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:

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: Christa Culver, Petitions to watch | Conference of 11.12.10, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 10, 2010, 11:25 PM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2010/11/petitions-to-watch-conference-of-11-12-10/