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Notable Petitions

Three recently filed cert. petitions defend a tax credit for donations to school tuition programs, ruled unconstitutional by the Ninth Circuit, that has disparately benefited donors to religious programs.  One is Garriott v. Winn; the second and third are both captioned Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn.

Another recently filed but unrelated petition, Moore v. Hosemann, arises out of the unsuccessful attempt by Brian Moore, the Socialist Party presidential candidate in 2008, to register his name for the Mississippi ballot that year.

The petitions and questions presented in all four cases follow the jump.  The briefs in opposition have not yet been filed.

Title: Moore v. Hosemann
Docket: 09-982
Issues: (1) Whether Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(e)’s provision for service of process on individuals applies to official-capacity actions filed against state officers; and (2) whether the court of appeals erred in abstaining from deciding the merits of petitioner’s constitutional claim rather than seeking certification by the highest state court.

Title: Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn; Garriott v. Winn
Docket: 09-987; 09-988; 09-991
Issues: (1) Whether respondents have taxpayer standing when they cannot allege that the Arizona Tuition Tax Credit involves the expenditure or appropriation of state funds; and (2) whether a tax credit that advances the legislature’s legitimate secular purpose of expanding educational options for families unconstitutionally endorses or advances religion simply because taxpayers choose to direct more contributions to religious organizations than nonreligious ones.