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Notable petitions

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: Madison County v. Oneida Indian Nation
Docket: 10-72
Issue: (1) Whether tribal sovereign immunity from suit bars taxing authorities from foreclosing to collect lawfully imposed property taxes; and (2) whether the ancient Oneida reservation in New York was disestablished or diminished.

Title: Aquino v. Suiza Dairy
Docket: 10-74
Issue: Whether a federal court can order retrospective monetary relief against a sovereign as long as the necessary funds do not come directly from the general treasury.

Title: Consolidated Rail Corporation v. Battaglia
Docket: 10-75
Issue: (1) Whether the Federal Employers’ Liability Act requires that a plaintiff prove proximate causation as an element of a claim for damages; and (2) whether the imposition of liability under FELA based on exposure to any diesel exhaust conflicts with this Court’s decisions requiring courts to defer to a federal agency’s interpretation of its own safety regulation.

Title: Weiss v. Assicurazioni Generali, S.p.A.
Docket: 10-80
Issue: Whether state common-law claims are preempted by federal foreign policy interests in the absence of an executive agreement and when no other recourse would be available to the plaintiffs.

Title: United States v. Gonzalez
Docket: 10-82
Issue: Whether evidence is admissible under the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule when the evidence was obtained during a search that was conducted in objectively reasonable reliance on precedent holding such searches lawful under the Fourth Amendment, but, after the search, that precedent was overturned by this Court.

Title: Johnson v. Estate of Terry Gee, Jr.
Docket: 10-86
Issue: Whether a jail official who defers to treatment decisions of medical professionals working within the jail facility can still be considered to be deliberately indifferent to serious medical needs of an inmate in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Title: Wilson v. Corcoran
Docket: 10-91
Issue: Whether a state capital defendant has a constitutional right to a sentencing decision that is not informed by facts that are neither elements of his crime or aggravated circumstances authorized by statute, and, if so, whether a federal court may grant habeas relief based on its own finding that the state trial court improperly considered non-statutory factors when imposing its sentence.

Title: Ashcroft v. al-Kidd
Docket: 10-98
Issue: (1) Whether a former government official is entitled to absolute immunity from a claim that he used the material witness statute as a “pretext” to preventatively detain terrorism suspects; and (2) whether the former government official is entitled to qualified immunity from the pretext claim based on the conclusions that (a) the Fourth Amendment prohibits an officer from executing a valid material witness warrant with the subjective intent of conducting further investigation or preventively detaining the subject; and (b) this Fourth Amendment rule was clearly established at the time of the respondent’s arrest.