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Petitions to Watch | Conference of 6.18.09

This edition of “Petitions to Watch” features cases up for consideration at the Justices’ private conference on June 18, the penultimate conference of this Term. 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.  A new blog feature: to access previous editions of Petitions to Watch,  click on the “Petitions to Watch” tab in top navigation bar. Links to previous editions are also available in our archives on SCOTUSwiki.

Docket: 08-327
Title: Arizona, et al. v. United States District Court for the District of Arizona, et al.
Issue: Do district court judges have the power to enact a rule requiring the defendants in pro-se inmate suits to provide super disclosure statements and to investigate the inmates’ allegations even when administrative remedies have not been exhausted?

Docket: 08-1053
Title: Sunoco, Inc., et al. v. McDonald, et al.
Issue: Whether Section 309 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, which pre-empts “limitations periods” “specified in the State statute of limitations or under common law,” includes and pre-empts state statutes of repose.

Docket: 08-1109
Title: Porter v. United States
Issue: Whether 18 U.S.C. §§ 471 & 472, which prohibit making or passing “counterfeit[]” obligations of the United States, require the Government to prove, and the jury to find, that a bill was not only fake, but also similar enough to genuine currency to deceive an honest and unsuspecting person of ordinary observation and care.

Docket: 08-1149
Title: Cunningham v. United States
Issue: Does United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 apply with equal force to sentence reductions under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) such that a district court has discretion to reduce the defendant’s term of imprisonment below the Guideline range?

Docket: 08-1152
Title: Srivastava v. United States
Issue: Whether all of the evidence seized pursuant to search warrants should be suppressed under the exclusionary rule, where the supervising officer believed that the warrants imposed no meaningful limits on the items that could be seized and where the executing officers seized a substantial volume of items not covered by the warrants.

Docket: 08-1165
Title: Levy v. Sterling Holding Company, LLC, et al.
Issue:  Whether the Securities and Exchange Commission’s new Rule 16b-3, exempting from disgorgement those short-swing profits realized from an insider’s acquisition of securities from the insider’s own company – is a lawful interpretation of Section 16(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and whether it can apply retroactively where it serves to clarify an ambiguity in a prior version of the rule.

Docket: 08-1169; 08-1207
Title: Capital One Bank, N.A., fka Capital One Bank, et al., v. Commissioner of Revenue of Massachusetts ; Geoffrey, Inc., v. Commission of Revenue Massachusetts
Issue: Whether the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts violated the Commerce Clause by permitting a State to tax the income of an out-of-state corporation that does not maintain a physical presence in the taxing State.

Docket: 08-1194
Title:  Arkansas Carpenters Health and Welfare Fund, Paper, A.F. of L., et al. v. Bayer AG and Bayer Corp., et al
Issue:  Are pharmaceutical “reverse payment” agreements – whereby the manufacturer of a brand-name drug (and patent holder) pays a generic manufacturer (and alleged patent infringer) to not launch a generic version of the brand-name drug – per se lawful without regard to the amount of cash paid or the strength of the underlying patent challenge?

Docket: 08-1223
Title: Maxwell-Jolly v. Independent Living Center of Southern California, et al.
Issue: Whether Medicaid recipients and providers may maintain a private cause of action under the Supremacy Clause to enforce § 1396a(a)(30)(A) by asserting that the provision preempts a state law reducing reimbursement rates.

Docket: 08-1224
Title: United States v. Comstock
Issue: Whether Congress had the constitutional authority to enact 18 U.S.C. 4248, which authorizes court-ordered civil commitment by the federal government of (1) “sexually dangerous” persons who are already in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons, but who are coming to the end of their federal prison sentences, and (2) “sexually dangerous” persons who are in the custody of the Attorney General because they have been found mentally incompetent to stand trial.

Cases in which the Solicitor General filed an invitation brief:

Graham County Soil & Water Conservation Dist. v. U.S. ex rel. Wilson  (08-304) (SG recommended certiorari be granted)