This week we highlight petitions pending before the Supreme Court that address, among other things, the constitutional implications of trial counsel’s failure to make an argument based on persuasive, as opposed to controlling, authority; the extent to which the National Bank Act pre-empts state laws; and the limitations the due process clause imposes when prosecuting a juvenile under a statute that provides only punishments that cannot constitutionally be applied to juveniles.
The petitions of the week are:
Issues: (1) Whether trial counsel’s failure to make an argument that courts of appeals outside the circuit have accepted (and the circuit has not addressed) may amount to constitutionally deficient assistance of counsel or, instead, whether only directly controlling precedent is relevant; and (2) whether, when a defendant and the government have agreed that the court will address at sentencing a factual question for purposes of imposing a statutory mandatory-minimum sentence, they have also implicitly agreed that the defendant’s “offense of conviction” has “established” the factual finding for purposes of the Sentencing Guidelines.
Issue: Whether the due process clause forbids the government from prosecuting an individual who was a juvenile at the time of the crime under a statute that provides no punishment that can constitutionally be applied to that individual.
Issues: (1) Whether the National Bank Act pre-empts state laws regulating national-bank loan terms, such as California’s law requiring payment of interest on mortgage-loan escrow accounts; and (2) whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit erred in disregarding regulations from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the primary regulator of national banks, concerning the applicability of state real-estate lending laws to national banks.