In its conference of June 8, 2017, the court will consider petitions involving issues such as whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit properly held, on its own initiative, that the respondent could overcome his procedural default under Sawyer v. Whitley’s actual-innocence exception, and whether the 6th Circuit properly held that judicial reweighing cannot cure errors at the weighing stage of a capital trial by extending Ring v. Arizona’s standards from the eligibility phase into that weighing phase; and whether the Second Amendment entitles ordinary, law-abiding citizens to carry handguns outside the home for self-defense in some manner, including concealed carry when open carry is forbidden by state law.

16-1116

Issues: (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit properly held, on its own initiative, that the respondent could overcome his procedural default under Sawyer v. Whitley’s actual-innocence exception; and (2) whether the 6th Circuit properly held that judicial reweighing cannot cure errors at the weighing stage of a capital trial by extending Ring v. Arizona‘s standards from the eligibility phase into that weighing phase.

16-1177

Issue: Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit erred under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act in holding that the Virginia Supreme Court’s decision in Angel v. Commonwealth was an objectively unreasonable application of Graham v. Florida, thereby creating a split with Virginia courts over the validity of Virginia’s parole regulations, and a split with other jurisdictions over whether parole eligibility at age 60 constitutes a life-without-parole sentence.

16-712

Issues: (1) Whether inter partes review, an adversarial process used by the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to analyze the validity of existing patents, violates the Constitution by extinguishing private property rights through a non-Article III forum without a jury; (2) whether the amendment process implemented by the PTO in inter partes review conflicts with Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC v. Lee and congressional direction; and (3) whether the “broadest reasonable interpretation” of patent claims, upheld in Cuozzo for use in inter partes review, requires the application of traditional claim construction principles, including disclaimer by disparagement of prior art and reading claims in light of the patent’s specification.

16-166

Issues: (1) Whether the district court erred in holding that a lack of discernible standards prevented it from striking down as a partisan gerrymander a districting plan when the plan’s architect freely admitted it was a partisan gerrymander designed to elect as many Republicans as mathematically possible; (2) whether the district court erred in holding that it could not, on the record before it, strike down a districting plan under the 14th Amendment when the plan was designed to secure “partisan advantage” for Republicans; and (3) whether the district court erred in holding that it could not, on the record before it, strike down a districting plan under the First Amendment when the plan was designed to impose burdens on Democratic voters because of their political beliefs. In addition, on May 26, the Supreme Court ordered the parties to brief the following issues: (1) Do the appellants have standing to challenge the remedial map as a partisan gerrymander? (2) Is the district court’s order denying the appellants’ objections to the remedial map appealable under 28 U. S. C. § 1253?

16-992

Issue: Whether a state violates the 14th Amendment by denying married same-sex couples the same right afforded to married opposite-sex couples under state law to have the name of the birth mother’s spouse entered as the second parent on their child’s birth certificate.

16-111

Issue: Whether applying Colorado’s public accommodations law to compel the petitioner to create expression that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage violates the free speech or free exercise clauses of the First Amendment.

16-847

Issue: Whether the petitioners are entitled to relief from the longstanding federal statute prohibiting felons from possessing firearms, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), based on their as-applied Second Amendment claim that their criminal offenses and other particular circumstances do not warrant a firearms disqualification.

16-983

Issue: Whether, as used in 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(20)(B), the term “punishable by a term of imprisonment of two years or less” means “capable of being punished by a term of imprisonment of two years or less,” or “subject to a term of imprisonment of two years or less.”

16-894

Issue: Whether the Second Amendment entitles ordinary, law-abiding citizens to carry handguns outside the home for self-defense in some manner, including concealed carry when open carry is forbidden by state law.

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: Aurora Barnes, Petitions to watch | Conference of June 8, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 7, 2017, 2:34 PM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2017/06/petitions-watch-conference-june-8/