The "Notable petitions" feature lists petitions that are likely to appear on our "Petitions to watch" list when they are scheduled for consideration by the Justices.  "Notable petitions" are those that Tom has identified as raising one or more questions that has a reasonable chance of being granted in an appropriate case.  We generally do not attempt to evaluate whether the case presents an appropriate vehicle to decide the question, which is a critical consideration in determining whether certiorari will be granted.

The newest notable petitions, along with the opinions below and any other briefs filed at the Court so far, follow the jump.

Title: Alford v. Mississippi Division of Medicaid
Docket: 10-12
Issue: Whether the provisions of the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988 that require state Medicaid agencies to recognize orders of increased spousal support give trial courts independent jurisdiction to enter such orders before benefits are applied for and in the absence of exhausted state administrative remedies.

Title: Smith v. United States
Docket: 10-18
Issue: Whether, when a trial judge’s restriction on the cross-examination of a prosecution witness is challenged on appeal as a violation of the Confrontation Clause, the proper standard of review is de novo or abuse of discretion.

Title: Allen v. Lawhorn
Docket: 10-24
Issue: Whether a state court’s determination that trial counsel’s waiver of a penalty-phase closing argument did not prejudice the defendant is "contrary to" Supreme Court precedent.

Title: Ryan v. Robinson
Docket: 10-34
Issue: (1) Whether a state prisoner fairly presents his federal claim when he changes the legal theory of the federal claim he presented in state court; and (2) whether the opinion below created a new requirement that triers of fact in capital cases must give weight to any proffered mitigation.

Title: Hall v. Thaler
Docket: 10-37
Issue: (1) Whether an IQ below seventy and substantial adaptive limitations that satisfy the clinical definition of mental retardation fail to shield a defendant from execution when those limitations may have been caused, even in part, by "environmental" factors; and (2) whether Texas’s approach to assessing adaptive limitations violates established precedent.

Title: Maples v. Allen
Docket: 10-63
Issue: (1) Whether a state procedural rule barring review of the merits of a death row inmate's claims because of a missed filing deadline that was not the inmate's fault is "adequate" to bar federal habeas review of serious constitutional claims; and (2) whether the lower court properly held that there was no "cause" to excuse the late missed deadline under the circumstances.

Title: Weise v. Casper
Docket: 10-67
Issue: Whether First Amendment law prohibits government officials who are speaking at events that are open to the public and paid for by taxpayers from excluding people from the audience on the basis of their viewpoints.

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline