John Elwood reviews Monday’s relisted and held cases.

Comrades!  Before getting to our assigned task, let me take a moment to wish you all a happy May Day.  And, because I like to run an inclusive blog, happy Loyalty Day, Law Day, Lei Day, International Sunflower Guerilla Gardeners’ Day, and Festival of Saint Walpurga!

For those of you who aren’t too distracted by your Walpurgisnacht hangover to focus on the business at hand, Monday’s order brought four new relists, putting to shame the previous weeks’ anemic results.  First up is Coleman, Superintendent v. Johnson, 11-1053, a state-on-top habeas case out of the Third Circuit.  In its petition, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania claims the court of appeals erred in granting habeas relief because the court (1) determined only that Pennsylvania courts misapplied state law, as opposed to clearly established federal law; (2) construed accomplice liability in a way that conflicts with Pennsylvania law; and (3) failed to credit evidence favorable to the prosecution and apply the presumption of correctness required by 28 U.S.C. § 2254(3)(1).  Relist number two is another state-on-top habeas case raising similar issues, this time out of the Sixth Circuit.  In Parker, Warden v. Matthews, 11-845, Kentucky argues that the Sixth Circuit failed to give sufficient deference to Kentucky state courts’ interpretation of Kentucky law, in violation of AEDPA.  The Court requested (and received) the record, so it is clearly taking a close look at this case.

Next up is Fairey v. Tucker, Secretary, 11-7185 – yet another habeas case.  Fairey, a former three-time Jeopardy winner, was charged in South Carolina state court with obtaining goods and monies under false pretenses (unrelated to his Jeopardy winnings; no one is saying he defrauded Alex Trebek of cash and prizes).  After Fairey fired his lawyer, the court deemed him competent to represent himself pro se; and after he provided an address where he allegedly did not receive notice of the upcoming trial, he ended up being tried and convicted in abstentia.  Now on probation in Florida, Fairey filed a collateral attack in the District of South Carolina challenging the circumstances of his trial.  The Fourth Circuit refused to grant a certificate of appealability, agreeing with the district court that it lacks in personam jurisdiction over the Secretary of Florida’s Department of Corrections.  The Court called for the record on April 16, but it still hasn’t arrived.

Our final relist is Adams v. Tyson Foods, Inc., 11-9054.  Adams says he blew the whistle on some unsavory food processing at his former employer, Tyson Foods.  Tyson later fired Adams, citing absenteeism.  In the ensuing litigation, the Eighth Circuit sided with Tyson.  Adams’s petition raises a litany of claims, most of which evidently do not directly concern his firing but rather his effort to determine whether he’s been placed on a terrorist watch list.  Naming the United States Government as a “Silent Respondent,” Adams also alleges that various government officials have conspired with Tyson to harass him and his family and deprive him of his constitutional rights.  Tyson did not file a response, making this case the second case this Term in which the Court relisted although the respondent waived its right to file an opposition; the first was Johnson v. Obama, 10-10652, back in October.

Finally, as the especially perceptive among you might have noticed from the title, there are no holds that we’ve been able to identify this week.  Although this is foretold in the Book of Revelation (it comes right after the fig tree casteth her untimely figs), I never really believed this day would come.

That’s all, folks – or as Leon Trotsky said, “I think Stalin has finished the job he has started.”  Our Supreme Soviet won’t be conferencing again until May 10, so we won’t see you back here for another two weeks.  Until then!

Thanks to my dear comrade, Eric White, for fulfilling and overfulfilling the Five Year Plan with this update.


Coleman, Superintendent v. Johnson (relisted after the 4/27 Conference)

Docket: 11-1053

Issue(s):  (1) Whether the court of appeals’ grant of habeas relief based on a finding that the Pennsylvania courts misapplied Pennsylvania law should be reversed; (2) whether the court of appeals’ refusal to credit factual inferences favorable to the prosecution should be reversed; (3) whether the court of appeals’ determinations regarding witness credibility should be reversed; (4) whether the court of appeals’ holding, which relies upon a definition of accomplice liability that conflicts with Pennsylvania law, should be reversed; and (5) whether the court of appeals failed to acknowledge or address the presumption of correctness that must be afforded the factual inferences drawn by the state courts pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(l).

Certiorari stage documents

Parker, Warden v. Matthews (relisted after the 4/27 Conference)

Docket: 11-845

Issue(s):  Whether the Sixth Circuit erred in finding that the Kentucky courts unreasonably applied clearly established federal law and granting respondent habeas relief.

Certiorari stage documents

Fairey v. Tucker, Secretary (relisted after the 4/27 Conference)

Docket: 11-7185

Issue(s):  Did the Court of Appeals err in dismissing the Petitioner’s appeal and denying the certificate of appealability where the record showed that the district court’s assessment of the constitutional claims was wrong?

Certiorari stage documents

Adams v. Tyson Foods, Inc. (relisted after the 4/27 Conference)

Docket: 11-9054

Issue(s):  (1) Whether the USA Patriot Act and Bio-Terrorism Act unconstitutionally denies petitioner a fair and unbiased tribunal, equal justice under the law and other Constitutional rights; (2) whether the Patriot Act violates petitioner’s First Amendment rights; (3) whether the Patriot Act violates the Separation of Powers Doctrine; (4) whether public officials have unconstitutionally entrapped petitioner; (5) whether the Patriot Act violates the Fifth Amendment; (6); whether petitioner has a due process right to challenge the assertion he is a terrorist; (7) whether the Bio-Terrorism Act violates the Fourth Amendment; (8) whether the Civil Rights Act or FOIA bar the Court from exercising jurisdiction under Article III of common law rights to preserve due process of law; (9) whether Congress violated petitioners’ rights by enacting the Detention Authority Provisions in S. 1253 a.k.a. H.R.1540 / S. 1867 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Year 2012; (10) whether a litigant has a right to challenge this watch list status; (11) whether corporate  personhood case law is contrary to the Constitution causing all three branches of government to neglect the rights of We The People showing a bias to the rights of corporations; (12) whether the courts’ refusal to file or timely file petitioner’s pleadings violates petitioners’ First Amendment rights; (13) whether the Eighth Circuit erred in denying petitioner’s writ of mandamus or habeas corpus to prevent undue deaths.

Certiorari stage documents

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: John Elwood, Relist watch, SCOTUSblog (May. 1, 2012, 11:50 PM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2012/05/relist-watch-5/