At its Conference on March 21, 2014, the Court will consider petitions seeking review of issues such as qualified immunity from Fourth Amendment liability, the constitutionality of a state statute authorizing state judges to arbitrate business disputes, and the applicability of public accommodations statute to wedding photographer opposed to same-sex marriage.

This edition of “Petitions to watch” features 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.  Our policy is to include and disclose all cases in which Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, represents either a party or an amicus in the case, with the exception of the rare cases in which Goldstein & Russell represents the respondent(s) but does not appear on the briefs in the case.


Issue(s): Whether Press-Enterprise Corp. v. Superior Court of California's “experience and logic” test requires invalidation on First Amendment grounds of a Delaware statute authorizing state judges to act as arbitrators in business disputes — when the parties voluntarily select arbitration — because the arbitration proceedings are not open to the public.



Issue(s): Whether a plaintiff may state a claim under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933, which provides for strict liability “on account of” defective registration statements, where he made an irrevocable investment decision to acquire his securities before a registration statement covering the issuance of those securities existed. CVSG: 08/27/2014.



Issue(s): Whether federal habeas courts should apply Harrington v. Richter’s presumption to a state court’s reasoned decision in order to rehabilitate the state court’s unreasonable application of clearly established federal law.



Issue(s): (1) Whether federal law preempts the brief detention of an alien by a local police officer, pursuant to a federal warrant, for the purpose of contacting Immigration and Customs Enforcement to determine if the alien should be taken into custody, when it is unknown whether the alien’s violation of federal immigration law was criminal or civil; and (2) whether the Fourth Amendment prohibits a brief investigative stop of an alien when the law enforcement officer reasonably suspects that the alien has committed a violation of federal immigration law, regardless of whether it is civil or criminal in nature.



Issue(s): (1) Whether the court of appeals failed to apply the governing preponderance of the evidence standard in affirming the denial of petitioner's habeas corpus petition, thus denying him the meaningful review mandated by Boumediene v. Bush; and (2) whether the court of appeals improperly shifted the burden of proof to petitioner to disprove affiliation with al Qaeda or the Taliban at the time of his capture.



Issue(s): Whether, under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act, which gives the Environmental Protection Agency authority to “prohibit the specification (including the withdrawal of specification) of any defined area as a disposal site” for dredged or fill material before the Army Corps of Engineers has issued a permit to discharge that material, the EPA has the uncabined authority to withdraw disposal site specifications years after the Corps has issued a permit, thereby effectively nullifying a permit properly issued by the Corps.



Issue(s): Whether applying a state public-accommodations statute to require a photographer to create expressive images and picture books conveying messages that conflict with her religious beliefs violates the First Amendment’s ban on compelled speech.



Issue(s): Whether the Hobbs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2342(1), prohibits a defendant from raising the invalidity of an Federal Communications Commission regulation when that regulation forms the basis of a class action brought by a private party seeking crippling monetary damages.



Issue(s): Whether forensic pathology reports are testimonial for purposes of the Confrontation Clause.



Issue(s): Whether courts deciding qualified immunity in Fourth Amendment cases should consider the factual reasonableness of the search or seizure when applying the second, “clearly established” prong of the test.



Issue(s): Whether, under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), state court adjudications are per se unreasonable and not entitled to deference under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(2) merely because the state court does not conduct an evidentiary hearing.



Posted in Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: Mary Pat Dwyer, Petitions to watch | Conference of March 21, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 17, 2014, 3:01 PM),