We are reposting this edition of Petitions to watch,which features cases up for consideration at the Justices January 7 conference.  These are petitions raising issues that Tom has determined to 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

Douglas v. Independent Living Center of Southern California (Granted )

Docket: 09-958
Issue(s): (1) Whether Medicaid recipients and providers may maintain a cause of action under the Supremacy Clause to enforce 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(a)(30)(A) of the Medicaid Act by asserting that the provision preempts a state law reducing reimbursement rates; and (2) whether a state law reducing Medicaid reimbursement rates may be held preempted by Section 1396a(a)(30)(A) based on requirements that do not appear in the text of the statute.

Certiorari stage documents:

CVSG Information:

Douglas v. California Pharmacists Association (Granted )

Docket: 09-1158
Issue(s): Whether Medicaid recipients and providers may maintain a cause of action under the Supremacy Clause to enforce § 1396a(a)(30)(A) by asserting that the provision preempts a state law reducing reimbursement rates.

Certiorari stage documents:

Douglas v. Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital (Granted )

Docket: 10-283
Issue(s): Whether Medicaid recipients and providers may maintain a cause of action under the Supremacy Clause to enforce § 1396a(a)(30)(A) by asserting that the provision preempts a state law reducing reimbursement rates.

Certiorari stage documents:

Iron Thunderhorse v. Pierce

Docket: 09-1353
Issue(s): Whether the court of appeals misinterpreted the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc et seq., to require only a minimal showing that a prison grooming rule which concededly imposes a substantial burden on religious exercise is the “least restrictive means of furthering [a] compelling governmental interest.”

Certiorari stage documents:

CVSG Information:

Erica P. John Fund, Inc. v. Halliburton Co. (Granted )

Docket: 09-1403
Issue(s): (1) Whether the Fifth Circuit correctly held that plaintiffs in securities fraud actions must not only satisfy the requirements to trigger a rebuttable presumption of fraud on the market, but must also establish loss causation at class certification by a preponderance of admissible evidence without merits discovery; (2) whether the Fifth Circuit improperly considered the merits of the underlying litigation when it held that a plaintiff must establish loss causation to invoke the fraud-on-the-market presumption.

Certiorari stage documents:

CVSG Information:

Depee v. Mahach-Watkins

Docket: 10-151
Issue(s): Whether, when a civil rights plaintiff seeks substantial money damages but receives only nominal damages, a court may award attorney’s fees under 42 U.S.C. § 1988, notwithstanding the failure of the litigation to achieve a significant public benefit such as declaratory, injunctive, or class relief.

Certiorari stage documents:

Experian Information Solutions, Inc. v. Pintos

Docket: 10-251
Issue(s): Whether the court of appeals erred in holding that 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(a)(3)(A) authorizes creditors to obtain a consumer's credit report to assist in collecting the consumer's debt only for transactions initiated by the consumer.

Certiorari stage documents:

Missouri v. Kruse

Docket: 10-264
Issue(s): Under the Fourth Amendment, is it reasonable for police officers to make a limited entry onto an individual's curtilage for the purposes of covering the rear exit of the home, while other officers conduct a "knock and talk" at the front door to investigate their probable-cause belief that the subject of an active arrest warrant is inside the home?

Certiorari stage documents:

Lawnwood Medical Center, Inc. v. Sadow

Docket: 10-371
Issue(s): (1) Whether punitive damages for intentional harm are exempt from the Court's guidepost analysis to determine whether an award of punitive damages is unconstitutionally excessive; (2) whether state law can exempt punitive awards for certain conduct from the guidepost analysis mandated by the Constitution; and (3) whether a court may rely on the defendant's wealth - rather than awards in similar cases or comparable legislative penalties - as an objective indicator of the constitutionality of a punitive award when actual damages are small or nominal.

Certiorari stage documents:

Wrisley v. Crowe

Docket: 10-376
Issue(s): (1) Whether police are subject to liability under the Fifth Amendment for allegedly coercive questioning used only in pre-trial proceedings that do not impose criminal penalties; (2) whether police are subject to liability for questioning excluded under the Fifth Amendment and not rising to a level that "shocks the conscience" under the Fourteenth Amendment; and (3) whether police can "shock the conscience" for purposes of liability under the Fourteenth Amendment by non-tortious conduct that causes or threatens no physical harm.

Certiorari stage documents:

McDonough v. Crowe

Docket: 10-377
Issue(s): (1) Whether use of a suspect's coerced testimony in a judicial proceeding short of a criminal trial in which penalties may be imposed violates the Fifth Amendment; (2) whether police interview techniques that have garnered judicial approval (such as lying) constitute coercion under the Fifth Amendment when applied to a minor; (3) whether a police officer's solely verbal conduct that does not involve any threat of harm constitutes a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of substantive due process; (4) whether a police officer's conduct must "shock the conscience" to violate the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee against deprivation of familial companionship; and (5) whether the Ninth Circuit departed from established principles of qualified immunity in holding that a police officer may be liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for interrogating a minor using solely verbal techniques that did not involve any threats.

Certiorari stage documents:

Blum v. Crowe

Docket: 10-420
Issue(s): (1) Whether a private psychologist whom police ask to consult on an interrogation of a suspect in a murder investigation is entitled to assert qualified immunity pursuant to Richardson v. McKnight; (2)whether the holding and standards of Richardson should be clarified or reexamined; (3) whether the tactics employed during plaintiffs' interrogations violated the Fourteenth Amendment "shocks the conscience" standard; and (4) whether the law was clearly established that the tactics employed during plaintiffs' interrogations were a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Certiorari stage documents:

United States v. Jicarilla Apache Nation (Granted )

Docket: 10-382
Issue(s): Whether the attorney-client privilege entitles the United States to withhold from an Indian tribe confidential communications between the government and government attorneys implicating the administration of statutes pertaining to property held in trust for the tribe.

Certiorari stage documents:

NIBCO, Inc. v. Rivera

Docket: 10-383
Issue(s): (1) Whether a court of appeals must conduct a comparative juror analysis when reviewing a claim under Batson v. Kentucky, even though the comparative analysis was neither raised before nor considered by the trial court below; and (2) whether a court of appeals that identifies a suspected Batson problem based on a comparative juror analysis never considered by the trial court can vitiate a trial without remanding to allow the trial court to consider the new arguments and evidence in the first instance.

Certiorari stage documents:

Schaefer v. McHugh

Docket: 10-404
Issue(s): Whether a party challenging an agency's refusal to follow its own regulations under United States ex rel. Accardi v. Shaughnessy also bears the burden of establishing prejudice from that refusal.

Certiorari stage documents:

Miller-Goodwin v. City of Panama Beach, Florida

Docket: 10-471
Issue(s): Does a prima facie case of intentional gender discrimination require a judicial finding that a person of the opposite gender engaged in “nearly identical” misconduct but received more favorable treatment than the plaintiff?

Certiorari stage documents:

Board of County Commissioners of Boulder County, Colo. v. Rocky Mountain Christian Church

Docket: 10-521
Issue(s): Whether the Equal Terms and Unreasonable Limitations provisions of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 expand the scope of legal protection granted to religious exercise beyond that established by the First Amendment and thus violate the Establishment Clause and Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Certiorari stage documents:

Florida v. Ross

Docket: 10-550
Issue(s): Whether the provision of complete and accurate Miranda warnings during a custodial interrogation, accompanied by a written acknowledgement and waiver, affords a presumption of admissibility of post-warning statements when the initial, pre-warning statements were not coerced but were voluntarily produced and when there is no evidence of police misconduct.

Certiorari stage documents:

Nevada Comm. on Ethics v. Carrigan (Granted )

Note: John Elwood, a regular contributor to the blog, serves as counsel to the petitioner. Although Amy Howe, the editor of the blog, served as a judge on one of John’s moots before the argument, Goldstein, Howe, & Russell was not otherwise involved in the case.
Docket: 10-568
Issue(s): Whether the First Amendment subjects state restrictions on voting by elected officials to strict scrutiny, the balancing test of Pickering v. Board of Education, or rational-basis review.

Certiorari stage documents:

Kraft Foods Global, Inc., Oscar Mayer Foods Division v. Jeff Spoerle

Docket: 10-580
Issue(s): Whether Section 203(o) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which allows unions and employers to resolve through collective bargaining agreements the issue of whether employees must be compensated for time spent changing clothes, preempts state minimum-wage and overtime laws requiring employees to be compensated for such time.

Certiorari stage documents:

DISCLOSURE: Akin Gump and Howe & Russell represent parties in the three cases below; the cases are listed here without regard to their chances of being granted.

Grant County Black Sands Irrigation District v. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Note: Howe & Russell represent the petitioners in this case.
Docket: 10-116
Issue(s): Whether the government may deprive landowners of the ability to acquire a permanent water right and other reclamation law entitlements by limiting landowners to perpetually extending ten-year “water utility” contracts under 43 U.S.C. § 485(e).

Certiorari stage documents:

Gao v. Holder

Note: Howe & Russell and Akin Gump represent the petitioner in this case.
Docket: 10-130
Issue(s): 1) Whether the category of “particularly serious crimes” is limited to “aggravated felonies” under 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3)(B)(ii) and 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(2)(A)(ii) with the sole exception that – with respect to asylum – the Attorney General may “designate” additional offenses “by regulation”; and 2) whether the government must make an individualized determination that an individual poses “a danger to the community” before denying her withholding of removal or asylum under 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3)(B) (for withholding) or 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(2)(A)(ii) (for asylum).

Certiorari stage documents:

Castro v. United States

Note: Howe & Russell and Akin Gump represent the petitioner in this case.
Docket: 10-309
Issue(s): (1) Whether the discretionary function exception to the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2680(a), applies to acts by federal employees that exceed the scope of their statutory or constitutional authority; and (2) even if governmental conduct would otherwise fit within the discretionary function, whether the law enforcement proviso of the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2680(h) -- which authorizes suits based on an enumerated list of common-law torts if those torts are committed by federal law enforcement officers -- nonetheless permits a plaintiff to proceed.

Certiorari stage documents:

Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc. (Granted )

Note: Goldstein, Howe and Russell P.C. represents the respondents IMS Health, SDI, and Verispan, in this case.
Docket: 10-779
Issue(s): Whether a law that restricts access to information in nonpublic prescription drug records and affords prescribers the right to consent before their identifying information in prescription drug records is sold or used in marketing violates the First Amendment.

Certiorari stage documents:

If any other paid petitions are re-distributed for the January 7 conference, we will add them below as soon as their re-distribution is noted on the docket.

Swarthout v. Cooke

Docket: 10-333
Issue(s): Whether a federal court may grant habeas corpus relief to a state prisoner based on its view that the state court erred in applying the state-law standard of evidentiary sufficiency governing state parole decisions.

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:

Lafler v. Cooper (Granted )

Docket: 10-209
Issue(s): (1) Whether a defendant seeking habeas is entitled to relief based on ineffective assistance of counsel where counsel’s deficient advice caused the defendant to reject a plea bargain in which the defendant had no vested right, and where the rejection did not deny the defendant a fair trial. (2) What remedy, if any, should be provided for ineffective assistance of counsel during plea bargain negotiations if the defendant was later convicted and sentenced pursuant to constitutionally adequate procedures.

Certiorari stage documents:

Missouri v. Frye (Granted )

Docket: 10-444
Issue(s): Can a defendant who validly pleads guilty assert a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel by alleging that, but for counsel's error in failing to communicate a plea offer, he would have pleaded guilty with more favorable terms? What remedy, if any, should be provided for ineffective assistance of counsel during plea bargain negotiations if the defendant was later convicted and sentenced pursuant to constitutionally adequate procedures?

Certiorari stage documents:

 

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline, Featured

Recommended Citation: Christa Culver, Petitions to watch | Conference of 01.07.11, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 7, 2011, 9:44 AM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2011/01/petitions-to-watch-conference-of-01-07-11/