This edition of "Petitions to Watch" features cases up for consideration at the Justices' next private conference on Thursday, May 20.  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: Sisney v. Reisch
Docket: 09-821; 09-953
Issue: (1) Whether the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act and the Civil Rights Remedies Equalization Act furnish clear notice that states accepting federal funds could be subjected to private damages or, instead, whether Congress is constitutionally required to expressly and unequivocally impose liability for those damages in its Spending Clause legislation; (2) whether CRREA's unambiguous waiver of Eleventh Amendment immunity extends to government-imposed substantial burdens on religious exercise pursuant to Section 3 of RLUIPA or, instead, whether CRREA is limited to provisions that expressly and unequivocally reference the term “discrimination” in the statutory text; (3) whether the Supreme Court’s requirement that a waiver of federal sovereign immunity expressly and unambiguously extends to include monetary damages applies with equal force to determine whether a state federal funding recipient has knowingly and voluntarily waived its Eleventh Amendment immunity in the face of settled law and clearly expressed conditions; and (4) whether the Eleventh Amendment requires Congress to expressly specify each and every form of discrimination in Spending Clause legislation in order to effectuate a waiver pursuant to CRREA.

For 09-821:

For 09-953:

Title: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research v. United States
Docket: 09-837
Issue: Whether the Treasury Department can categorically exclude all medical residents and other full-time employees from the definition of “student” in 26 U.S.C. § 3121(b)(10), which exempts from Social Security taxes “service performed in the employ of a school, college, or university” by a “student who is enrolled and regularly attending classes at such school, college, or university.”

Title: Curr-Spec Partners, L.P. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue
Docket: 09-871
Issues: (1) Whether the Fifth Circuit erred in affirming the Tax Court's interpretation of a statute of limitation resulting in judicial expansion of its jurisdiction beyond the scope set by Congress; and (2) whether circuit courts must consider subject matter jurisdiction in their interpretation of a non-jurisdictional statute, thereby expanding jurisdiction.

Title: AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion
Docket: 09-893
Issue: Whether the Federal Arbitration Act preempts states from conditioning the enforcement of an arbitration agreement on the availability of particular procedures — here, class-wide arbitration — when those procedures are not necessary to ensure that the parties to the arbitration agreement are able to vindicate their claims.

Title: Maxwell-Jolly v. Independent Living Center of Southern California
Docket: 09-958
Issues: (1) Whether Medicaid recipients and providers may maintain a cause of action under the Supremacy Clause to enforce 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(a)(30)(A) of the Medicaid Act by asserting that the provision preempts a state law reducing reimbursement rates; and (2) whether a state law reducing Medicaid reimbursement rates may be held preempted by Section 1396a(a)(30)(A) based on requirements that do not appear in the text of the statute.

Title: Johnson Controls v. Miller
Docket: 09-981
Issue: Whether a state's interest in raising and controlling revenue gives it an unfettered right to retroactively eliminate the post-deprivation remedy of a targeted group of taxpayers at the expense of their due process and equal protection rights.

Title: Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn; Garriott v. Winn
Docket: 09-98709-98809-991
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.

Title: PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing
Docket: 09-993; 09-1039
Issue: Whether the Eighth Circuit abrogated the Hatch-Waxman Amendments by allowing state tort liability for failure to warn in direct contravention of the Act's requirement that a generic drug's labeling be the same as the Federal Drug Administration-approved labeling for the listed (or branded) drug.

For 09-993:

For 09-1039:

Title: Microsoft v. Lucent Technologies
Docket: 09-1006
Issues: (1) Whether a jury verdict of patent infringement can stand when it is supported only by speculative evidence and lawyer argument, or whether the standards for entry of judgment as a matter of law that apply in all other federal cases should apply equally in patent cases; and (2) whether a new trial is required in a patent infringement case, as in all other cases, when the verdict is found to be contrary to the weight of the evidence.

Case in which the United States recently filed an amicus brief in response to the Court's call for the views of the Solicitor General:

Docket: 08-1314
Title: Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc.
Issue: (1) Whether, when Congress has provided that compliance with a federal motor vehicle safety standard "does not exempt a person from liability at common law," 49 U.S.C. § 30103(e), a federal minimum safety standard allowing vehicle manufacturers to install either lap-only or lap/shoulder seatbelts in certain seating positions preempts a state common-law claim alleging that the manufacturer should have installed a lap/shoulder belt in one of those seating positions; (2) whether that same federal motor vehicle safety standard impliedly preempts a state tort suit alleging that the manufacturer should have warned consumers of the known dangers of a lap-only seatbelt installed in one of its vehicles.

Docket: 08-143809-109
Title: Sossamon v. TexasCardinal v. Metrish
Issue: Whether states and state officials may be subject to suit for damages for violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. §§2000cc to 2000cc-5.

For 08-1438:

For 09-109:

[Disclosure: Howe & Russell represents the petitioner in this case.]

Below are three petitions from our last Petitions to Watch list, for the conference of 5.13.10, that have been redistributed for this conference.

  • Robinson v. Lehman (09-697)
  • Textron, Inc. v. United States (09-750)
  • United States v. Juvenile Male (09-940)

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline