Issue: (1) Whether, under Martinez v. Ryan, ineffective assistance of counsel in an initial-review collateral proceeding may provide cause to excuse the procedural default of a claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel raised in a federal habeas proceeding, and whether reasonable jurists could debate whether a death-sentenced prisoner confined pursuant to a Louisiana judgment may assert ineffective assistance of state post-conviction counsel as cause to excuse procedural defaults of claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel; (2) whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit erred in denying a certificate of appealability to petitioner in order to determine whether his claims were reviewable under Martinez v. Ryan, where its holding here “that Martinez does not apply to Louisiana prisoners at all” squarely contradicts the Fifth Circuit’s own earlier decision in Lindsey v. Cain?; and (3) whether, when petitioner was scheduled to be executed in six days, and the district court had transferred petitioner’s case to the Fifth Circuit for lack of jurisdiction, the Fifth Circuit erred in dismissing petitioner’s application for a certificate of appealability (“COA”) due to the district court’s lack of prior consideration of the COA?
On Monday, the Court issued orders from its June 23 Conference. It added three cases to its merits docket for next Term. The Court also released its final opinions of the Term, in McDonnell v. United States, Voisine v. United States, and Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. On Tuesday, the Court issued orders from Monday's Conference, the final one before its summer recess. It added eight cases to its merits docket for next Term. The Court is now in recess for the remainder of the summer.
Zubik v. Burwell Because both the Obama administration and the religious non-profits, colleges, and schools challenging the accommodation offered to those who object to complying with the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate confirm that contraceptive coverage could be provided to the challengers’ female employees, through the challengers’ insurance companies, without any notice from the challengers, the decisions of the courts of appeals rejecting the challenge are vacated and remanded. Given the gravity of the dispute and the substantial clarification and refinement in the positions of the parties, the parties on remand should be afforded an opportunity to arrive at an approach going forward that accommodates the challengers’ religious exercise while at the same time ensuring that women covered by the challengers’ health plans receive full and equal health coverage, including contraceptive coverage.
Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt Whether, when applying the “undue burden” standard of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Fifth Circuit erred in concluding that this standard permits Texas to enforce, in nearly all circumstances, laws that would cause a significant reduction in the availability of abortion services while failing to advance the State’s interest in promoting health - or any other valid interest.
Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins Because the Ninth Circuit failed to consider both aspects of the injury-in-fact requirements -- an injury in fact must be both concrete and particularized, but the Ninth Circuit's observations concerned only "particularization" -- its Article III standing analysis was incomplete.
BeavEx Inc. v. Costello Whether the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act preempts generally-applicable state laws that force motor carriers to treat and pay all drivers as “employees” rather than as independent contractors.