In its conference of June 21, 2018, the court is considering petitions involving issues such as whether the Yakama Treaty of 1855 creates a right for tribal members to avoid state taxes on off-reservation commercial activities that make use of public highways; whether the Federal Arbitration Act permits a court to decline to enforce an agreement delegating questions of arbitrability to an arbitrator if the court concludes the claim of arbitrability is “wholly groundless”; and whether, under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, an inventor’s sale of an invention to a third party that is obligated to keep the invention confidential qualifies as prior art for purposes of determining the patentability of the invention.

17-108

Issues: (1) Whether the creation and sale of custom floral arrangements to celebrate a wedding ceremony is artistic expression, and, if so, whether compelling their creation violates the free speech clause; and (2) whether the compelled creation and sale of custom floral arrangements to celebrate a wedding and attendance of that wedding against one’s religious beliefs violates the free exercise clause.

17-6856

Issue: Whether the “separate sovereign” concept actually exists when Congress’s plenary power over Indian tribes and the general erosion of any real tribal sovereignty is amplified by the Northern Cheyenne Tribe’s constitution in such a way that the petitioner’s prosecutions in both tribal and federal court violate the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution.

17-1184

Issue: Whether a vocational expert’s testimony can constitute substantial evidence of “other work,” 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)(4)(v), available to an applicant for social security benefits on the basis of a disability, when the expert fails upon the applicant’s request to provide the underlying data on which that testimony is premised.

16-9541

Issues: (1) Whether the Louisiana Supreme Court erred in upholding the petitioner’s death sentence when the jury made only one of the two statutory required jury findings beyond a reasonable doubt; (2) whether standards of decency have evolved to render the execution of a defendant prosecuted as a principal to first degree murder unconstitutional when, as the state conceded, jurors could not know who inflicted the blows that caused the victim’s death; (3) whether testimony establishing communications between a deputy monitoring the trial and an alternate juror in front of other jurors about the trial constitutes sufficient evidence to be presumptively prejudicial; and (4) whether the Louisiana Supreme Court’s rule, which requires an indigent defendant to accept his trial counsel’s decision to concede his guilt of second degree murder over his express objections or represent himself, vitiates the voluntariness of the petitioner’s waiver of counsel.

17-419

Issue: Whether the Supreme Court’s precedent and the doctrine of intergovernmental tax immunity bar states from exempting groups of state retirees from state income tax while discriminating against similarly situated federal retirees based on the source of their retirement income. CVSG: 05/15/2018.

Eaton v. United States
17-6680

Issue: [The petitioner is a pro se prisoner and the government waived its right to respond, so we have been unable to obtain a copy of the petition.]

17-7245

Issue: Whether the death penalty, in and of itself, violates the Eighth Amendment in light of contemporary standards of decency and the geographic arbitrariness of its imposition.

17-646

Issue: Whether the Supreme Court should overrule the “separate sovereigns” exception to the double jeopardy clause.

17-1354

Issues: (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit improperly departed from the Supreme Court’s decision in White v. Pauly and numerous other cases when it denied qualified immunity notwithstanding the absence of clearly established law imposing liability under circumstances closely analogous to those confronting the petitioner in this case; and (2) whether the lower court improperly departed from the Supreme Court’s decisions in Graham v. Connor and Plumhoff v. Rickard when it denied qualified immunity based on the absence of a constitutional violation given that the undisputed facts established that the petitioner acted reasonably in responding to the threat of a suspect turning towards him while raising the barrel of what appeared to be an assault rifle.

17-7177

Issue: Whether, when a criminal defendant has already been convicted of an offense in a state criminal proceeding, the United States may thereafter prosecute the defendant for the same offense without violating the Fifth Amendment’s prohibition on double jeopardy.

17-1229

Issue: Whether, under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, an inventor’s sale of an invention to a third party that is obligated to keep the invention confidential qualifies as prior art for purposes of determining the patentability of the invention.

17-1272

Issue: Whether the Federal Arbitration Act permits a court to decline to enforce an agreement delegating questions of arbitrability to an arbitrator if the court concludes the claim of arbitrability is “wholly groundless.”

17-7153

Issues: (1) Whether incarcerating a prisoner awaiting execution for over four decades, even after the state found a life-without-parole sentence to be appropriate, violates the Eighth Amendment because it fails to serve any legitimate penological purpose; and (2) whether incarcerating a prisoner awaiting execution for over four decades, with over half that time attributable to repeated constitutional violations in a succession of sentencing hearings, violates the Eighth Amendment because it fails to serve any legitimate penological purpose.

17-1356

Issues: (1) Whether, when a resident alien pleads guilty after incorrect advice by counsel as to clear immigration consequences and discovers the error prior to sentencing, a defendant must prove that he would have opted for trial had he been correctly advised when the sole remedy he seeks is to proceed to trial; (2) whether, when a defendant learns the immigration consequences three weeks after his guilty plea and promptly demands to go to trial, that adequately proves he would have opted for trial had he known the immigration consequences of his plea before he plead guilty; (3) whether the instant case represents a pattern of Indiana cases in which alien defendants who plead guilty while ignorant of the immigration consequences of their respective plea are unfairly denied their Sixth Amendment rights to effective assistance of counsel and trial by jury.

17-1269

Issue: Whether a service packet is “addressed and dispatched . . . to the head of the ministry of foreign affairs” of a foreign state, as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1608(a)(3), when the service packet is sent by registered mail to the head of the ministry of foreign affairs of the foreign state at the state’s embassy in the United States.

17-1174

Issue: Whether probable cause defeats a First Amendment retaliatory-arrest claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

17-1364

Issues: (1) Whether the district court had jurisdiction to consider challenges to the new districting plan the North Carolina General Assembly enacted after North Carolina’s previous state districting plan was invalidated as a racial gerrymander; (2) whether the district court erred by finding that four districts were racially gerrymandered even though the legislature did not consider race; (3) whether the district court erred by considering and substantiating a state-law challenge to five districts in which no plaintiff resides; (4) whether the district court erred by refusing to allow the legislature to enact its own remedial plan; and (5) whether the district court erred by imposing a map that improperly considered race.

17-1094

Issue: Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit erred when it held that equitable exceptions apply to mandatory claim-processing rules—such as Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f), which establishes a 14-day deadline to file a petition for permission to appeal an order granting or denying class-action certification—and can excuse a party’s failure to file timely within the deadline specified by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f), in conflict with the decisions of the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 10th and 11th Circuits.

17-5503

Issues: (1) Whether the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment prohibits the federal government from charging, convicting and sentencing a person who has already been charged, convicted and sentenced in the court of a state for much of the same conduct; and (2) whether the seriousness of the offense conduct is an appropriate consideration for a district court when fashioning a sentence on revocation of supervised release.

17-7793

Issue: Whether 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) violates the Constitution’s prohibition on vague criminal laws by requiring application of an indeterminate risk standard to the “ordinary case” of an individual’s prior conviction.

16-1094

Issue: Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit erred by holding – in direct conflict with the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia, 5th and 7th Circuits and in the face of an amicus brief from the United States – that plaintiffs suing a foreign state under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act may serve the foreign state under 28 U.S.C. § 1608(a)(3) by mail addressed and dispatched to the head of the foreign state’s ministry of foreign affairs “via” or in “care of” the foreign state’s diplomatic mission in the United States, despite U.S. obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to preserve mission inviolability. CVSG: 05/22/2018.

17-8002

Issue: Whether the Supreme Court should overrule the “dual sovereignty” exception to the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment for serial state and federal prosecutions for the same conduct.

17-742

Issue: Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit’s holding—granting qualified immunity to law-enforcement officers who stopped the petitioner from praying silently in her own home because there was no prior case law involving similar facts—conflicts with Hope v. Pelzer, which “expressly rejected a requirement that previous cases be ‘fundamentally similar’” or involve “‘materially similar’ facts.”

17-5410

Issue: Whether the Supreme Court should overrule the “separate sovereigns” exception to the double jeopardy clause.

16-1498

Issue: Whether the Yakama Treaty of 1855 creates a right for tribal members to avoid state taxes on off-reservation commercial activities that make use of public highways. CVSG: 05/15/2018.

17-425

Issue: Whether, when an officer elicits an admission from a suspect without providing a Miranda warning, the admissibility of the suspect’s post-warning statement is governed by the objective, suspect-focused test adopted by the plurality opinion in Missouri v. Seibert, or the subjective, officer-focused test adopted by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s separate opinion in that case.

 

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: Aurora Barnes, Petitions to watch | Conference of June 21, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 21, 2018, 7:00 PM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2018/06/petitions-to-watch-conference-of-june-21/