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Petitions to Watch | 4.17.09

This edition of “Petitions to Watch” features cases up for consideration at the Justices’ private conference on April 17. As always, the list contains the petitions on the Court’s paid docket that Tom has deemed to have a reasonable chance of being granted. To access previous editions of Petitions to Watch, visit our archives on SCOTUSwiki.

Docket: 08-674
Title:  NRG Power Marketing, LLC, et al. v. Maine Public Utilities Commission, et al.
Issue: Whether the principles of the Mobile-Sierra doctrine apply to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s review of wholesale electricity rates set by contract when those rates are challenged by a non-contracting party.

Docket: 08-751
Title:  El Paso, Texas, et al., v. Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, et al.
Issue: Whether the grant of authority to the Secretary of Homeland Security to “waive all legal requirements” necessary to ensure rapid construction of a border fence is an unconstitutional. delegation of legislative power or sufficient to preempt state and local law

Docket: 08-757
Title: Parr v. United States
Issue: What is the standard of proof, under the “true threat” doctrine of Virginia v. Black, for a conviction for threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction against a federal government building, and what testimonial evidence is admissible to establish an intent to threaten?

Docket: 08-769
Title: United States v. Stevens
Issue: Is 18 U.S.C. 48, on depictions of  animal cruelty, facially invalid under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment?

Docket: 08-833
Title:  Oliver v. Quarterman
Issue:  Does juror consultation of the Bible during sentencing deliberations  deprive a defendant of Sixth Amendment rights and what standard of proof should apply in evaluating the possible prejudice to the defendant?

Docket: 08-1021
Title:  Gilead Sciences, Inc., et al., v. Trent St. Clare, et al.
Issue: Whether a plaintiff in a “fraud on the market” case under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act must plead facts with sufficient particularity to support a reasonable, non-speculative belief that the plaintiff ultimately can prove loss causation.

Docket: 08-1042
Title:  Ernst & Young, et al. v. Bankruptcy Services, Inc.
Issue: Whether when overlapping jury-triable and bench-triable claims are asserted in a bankruptcy proceeding, the jury-triable claims must be tried first, and if by filing a proof of claim in a bankruptcy proceeding, a creditor forfeits its rights to a jury-trial on the estate’s non-bankruptcy counterclaims

Cases involving lawyers from Akin Gump or Howe & Russell (listed without regard to likelihood of being granted):

Docket: 08-849
Title: Kight v. Turner
Issue: When a federal district court dismisses state law claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c) and the state limitations period has expired, is the time period for refiling such claims in state court limited to 30 days?

 [Akin Gump represents the respondent]

Docket: 08-1065
Title:  Pottawattamie County et al. v. McGhee et al.
Issue: Whether a prosecutor may be subjected to a civil trial and potential damages for a wrongful conviction and incarceration where the prosecutor allegedly violated a criminal defendant’s “substantive due process” rights by procuring false testimony during the criminal investigation, and then introduced that same testimony against the criminal defendant at trial.

[Akin Gump represents the amici parties]