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Petitions to Watch | Conference of 4.30.10

This edition of “Petitions to Watch” features cases up for consideration at the Justices’ next private conference on Friday, April 30.  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.

Title: Carty v. Thaler
Docket: 09-900
Issues: (1) Whether the Fifth Circuit erred when it carved petitioner’s claim of ineffective assistance into subclaims, applying different standards of review to the fragments of her claim and denying them seriatim without ever considering de novo the totality of her claim for relief; and (2) whether the same court erred in evaluating the totality of the postconviction record, when (a) it assessed sentencing prejudice without considering the impact of trial counsel’s culpability phase error; and (b) it refused to cumulate all the categories of mitigating evidence.

Title: Cablevision Systems Corporation v. Federal Communications Commission
Docket: 09-901
Issue: (1) Whether the imposition of must-carry obligations for cable companies is consistent with the Constitution in light of the emergence of vibrant competition and other dramatic market and technological changes; (2) whether a cable operator may constitutionally be compelled to carry the programming of a broadcast station when the station lacks an over-the-air audience in the area in which the station is seeking carriage, the broadcast station’s traditional over-the-air market is well outside of that area, the station does not need cable carriage to remain viable, the cable operator has declined carriage for legitimate editorial reasons, the cable operator is subject to unusually robust competition, and the carriage mandate is based in part on the content of the station’s programming; and (3) whether the order of the Federal Communications Commission in this case can be sustained when it ruled that compelled carriage is consistent with the requirement of 47 U.S.C. § 534(h)(1)(C) that carriage be ordered only when it “better effectuate[s] the [statute’s] purposes” and promotes “the value of localism.”

Title: Markell v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
Docket: 09-914
Issues: (1) Whether the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act prohibits Delaware from using sports lotteries to generate revenue to alleviate its substantial budget deficits and satisfy its constitutional balanced-budget obligations; and (2) whether the court below erred in deciding the merits in an appeal of a denial of a preliminary injunction brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(a), when the factual record had not been developed and final adjudication of the merits turned on contested factual considerations.

The Court has re-listed the following cases from previous editions of Petitions to Watch for the conference of April 30.  If any other petitions are re-distributed between now and the conference, we will add them below as soon as their re-distribution is noted on the docket.