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Petitions to Watch | Conference of 11.24.09

This edition of “Petitions to Watch” features cases up for consideration at the Justices’ next private conference on Tuesday, November 24.  As always, it lists the petitions on the Court’s paid docket that Tom has deemed to have a reasonable chance of being granted.  Links to all previous editions are available in our SCOTUSwiki archive.

Docket: 08-1392
Title: Massis v. Holder
Issues: (1) Whether the Fourth Circuit erred in concluding that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain a legal challenge to an alien’s deportation on the ground that the alien had not raised that issue before the Board of Immigration Appeals and therefore failed to exhaust administrative remedies, as required by 8 U.S.C. 1252(d)(1). (2) Whether the Fifth Amendment affords an alien a right to relief based on the ineffective assistance of privately retained counsel during immigration proceedings.

Docket: 08-1494
Title: Arguelles-Olivares v. Holder
Issues: (1) Whether a conviction for a felony tax offense other than tax evasion qualifies as an aggravated felony under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(43)(M)(i), where the offense involves fraud or deceit in which the loss to victims exceeds $1o,ooo. (2) Whether a conviction for filing a false tax return qualifies as an aggravated felony under the same provision, when petitioner did not dispute a finding in the pre-sentence investigation report that petitioner owed additional taxes during the year in which the false tax return was filed.

Docket: 09-26
Title: Hertz v. United States
Issue: Whether petitioner’s claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act accrued on the date that her husband was killed in a plane crash, or on the date that petitioner learned that negligence on the part of federal employees might have played a role in the accident.

Docket: 09-106
Title: Pedernera v. Holder
Issue: Whether the Government must comply with its obligation to serve
notice of the final order of removal before the 30-day period to seek review of that order begins to run under 8 U.S.C. § 1252(b)(1).

Docket: 09-273
Title: Thaler v. Haynes
Issues: (1) Whether a new trial is required solely because the trial judge observed the prosecutor’s unrebutted explanation for a juror strike, but did not also observe voir dire firsthand? (2) Was this purported right to a new trial “clearly established” at the time of trial in 1999, as required under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act?; and does this right prevent federal courts from applying the presumption of correctness to the state court finding that the peremptory strike was not racially motivated, as required under the AEDPA?

Docket: 09-297
Title: Ford Motor Co. v. Buell-Wilson
Issue: Whether state law as applied deprives defendants of fair notice if it permits the imposition of punitive damages for conduct that reasonable persons could have concluded was lawful.

Docket: 09-338
Title: Renico v. Lett
Issue: Whether the Michigan Supreme Court erred in denying habeas relief on double jeopardy grounds when the state trial court declared a mistrial after the foreperson said that the jury was not going to be able to reach a verdict.

Docket: 09-376
Title: Pitkins v. Hummel (a.k.a. Rosemeyer v. Hummel)
Issue: Did the Third Circuit properly apply the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) when it refused to defer to the state appellate court’s rejection of a habeas petitioner’s claim?

[UPDATE, Nov. 25: The brief in opposition above was just posted.]

Case(s) in which the Solicitor General has recently filed a brief for the United States, as directed by the Court:

Docket: 08-1191
Title: Morrison v. National Australia Bank
Issue: Whether the judicially implied private right of action under Section 10(b) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 should, in the absence of any expression of congressional intent, be extended to permit fraud-on-the-market claims by a class of foreign investors who purchased, on a foreign securities exchange, foreign stock issued by a foreign company.

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

Docket: 09-102
Title: Virginia v. Rudolph
Issue: Did the Supreme Court of Virginia err when, in conflict with the decisions of other courts, it invalidated a Terry stop by an officer who observed suspicious conduct in an area plagued by crime?