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Notable Petitions

An interesting petition filed recently, Canto v. Holder, raises the question of whether an undocumented immigrant convicted of a deportable offense prior to 1996 can still take advantage of a legal provision repealed that year that allowed immigrants to seek waiver of their deportation.

Another new petition, Smith v. Vasquez, is yet another state appeal of a Sixth Circuit grant of habeas relief.  And a third, unrelated petition, Nestle Purina Petcare Company v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, asks the Court to clarify whether the federal circuit courts owe deference to each other’s tax decisions.

Briefs in opposition have not yet been filed in these cases, but their petitions and questions presented follow the jump.

Title: Smith v. Vasquez
Docket: 09-1328
Issues: (1) Whether a state court acts “contrary to… clearly established Federal law” under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1) when it cites the appropriate standard of review for a specific issue in its opinion but later uses imprecise shorthand terms in referring to that standard; and (2) whether the Sixth Circuit erred in granting habeas relief on the resp0ndent’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim notwithstanding the state courts’ contrary determination.

Title: Canto v. Holder
Docket: 09-1333
Issue: Whether illegal immigrants convicted of a deportable offense before 1996 are entitled to seek waiver of deportation under Section 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act despite its repeal in 1996.

Title: Nestle Purina Petcare Company v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue
Docket: 09-1339
Issues: (1) Whether a deduction for dividends paid to withdrawing participants of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, as authorized by § 404(k) of the Internal Revenue Code, is precluded by § 162(k)(1), which disallows an otherwise allowable deduction “for any amount paid or incurred in connection with the redemption of [a corporation’s] stock”; (2) whether deference is owed by one circuit to the federal tax decisions of other circuits; and (3) whether the Eighth Circuit erred in holding that petitioner’s deductions for “applicable dividends” paid under § 404(k) were barred by § 162(k)(1), where § 162(k)(2)(A)(iii) expressly provides that the bar set forth in §162(k)(1) shall not apply to “deductions for dividends paid (within the meaning of Section 561).”