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Petitions to Watch | Conference of 6.4.09

This edition of “Petitions to Watch” features cases up for consideration at the Justices’ private conference on June 4. 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: 08-1104
Title: Tankersley v. United States
Issue: Whether a Sentencing Guidelines departure should be subject to appellate review that is conducted prior to, and distinctly from, review of the ultimate sentence for reasonableness and whether the Supreme Court’s holding in Williams v. United States–that a sentencing court’s use of an erroneous ground for departure constitutes an incorrect application of the Guidelines–remains valid after United States v. Booker.

Docket: 08-1107
Title: Hertz Corporation v. Friend
Issue: Whether the location of a nationwide corporation’s headquarters can be considered for purposes of determining principal place of business for diversity jurisdiction citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

Docket: 08-1119 and 08-1225
Title: Milavetz, Gallop, & Milavetz, P.A., et al.  v. United States ; United States v. Milavetz, Gallop, & Milavetz, P.A., et al.
Issue: Whether an attorney who provides bankruptcy assistance to an assisted person in return for valuable consideration, and who does not fall within one of the five exceptions, is a “debt relief agency” for purposes of 11 U.S.C. 526 and whether 11 U.S.C. 528 violates the First Amendment.

Docket: 08-1120
Title: American Home Products Corporation v. Ferrari
Issue: Does the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 preempt a design defect state-law claim against a vaccine manufacturer?

Docket: 08-1175 and 08-1229
Title:  Florida v. Powell and Florida v. Rigterink
Issue: Must a suspect be expressly advised to his right to counsel during questioning and if so, does the failure to provide this express advice vitiate Miranda v. Arizona?

Docket: 08-1237
Title: South Carolina v. Council
Issue: Whether the Supreme Court of South Carolina properly applied Strickland v. Washington when it found ineffectiveness of defense counsel in the capital sentencing phase of trial.

Docket: 08-1243
Title: Michigan v. Swafford
Issue:  Is a document from a state law-enforcement agency notifying the United States Marshal that a federal pretrial detainee is wanted to face pending charges a detainer, and if not, does it become a detainer if forwarded by the United States Marshal to the appropriate federal correctional institution after the pretrial detainee is convicted of the pending federal charges?

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

Docket: 08-846
Title: Navajo Nation, et al. v. United States Forest Service, et al.
Issue: Whether a governmental action cannot constitute a “substantial burden” under RFRA unless it forces individuals to choose between following the tenets of their religion and receiving a governmental benefit or coerces them by threatening civil or criminal sanctions to act contrary to their religious beliefs.

[Akin Gump and Howe and Russell represent the petitioners]