At its Conference on March 7, 2014, the Court will consider petitions seeking review of issues such as regulation of lewd expression in the public schools, whether Congress may confer standing to sue when the plaintiff suffers no concrete injury, employees’ personal liability under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and unwritten promises to defendants in exchange for guilty pleas.

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 the filed rate doctrine and Supremacy Clause permit a state public service commission to “trap” federally approved costs with a utility by recognizing the prudency of obtaining electric power from a plant in another state, but then barring the utility from recovering the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission-approved transmission costs of importing that power. CVSG: 03/10/2014.



Issue(s): Whether an individual may be held personally liable for a corporation’s violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act merely because the individual had general control over corporate affairs, but exercised no personal responsibility over the conduct that caused the violation.



Issue(s): Whether Congress has the authority to confer Article III standing to sue when the plaintiff suffers no concrete harm and alleges as an injury only a bare, technical violation of a federal statute.



Issue(s): Whether the Third Circuit erred in constructing a new test for the application of Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser that would prohibit regulation of lewd expression in the public schools, even in the absence of issue preclusion; (2) whether the Third Circuit misapplied the narrowest grounds doctrine to hold that Morse v. Frederick dictated a modification of the holding in Fraser by creating a two-part test for regulation of expression controlled by Fraser; and (3) whether the Third Circuit abused its discretion in failing to give due deference to school administrators’ objectively reasonable determination that a sexual double entendre constituted lewd or vulgar speech which could be prohibited under Fraser.



Issue(s): Whether, if a prosecutor makes a promise to a criminal defendant in exchange for a guilty plea, but that promise is omitted from a writing purporting to memorialize the full terms of the plea agreement, the parol evidence rule bars a court from considering evidence of the government's promise.



Issue(s): Whether the filing of a putative class action serves, under American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah, to satisfy the three year time limitation in § 13 of the Securities Act with respect to the claims of putative class members.



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): (1) Whether the First Amendment permits civil courts to retroactively impose a “trust” on church property based on church canons that were never embodied in any secular instrument of property ownership and did not comply with state law at the time of their adoption; (2) whether the Contracts Clause permits civil courts resolving church property disputes to apply changes to state statutory law retroactively.



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 7, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 3, 2014, 11:40 PM),