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Relist watch UPDATED 10:00 AM 3/8

The Court denied cert. without comment in two cases that it relisted last week, S&M Brands Inc. v. Caldwell, 10-622 (which had been relisted once), and Wine Country Gift v. Steen, 10-671 (which had been relisted twice), and granted in Golan v. Holder, 10-545 (which had been relisted twice).   Otherwise, each of last week’s relists appears to have been relisted once again (it is impossible to say at the moment because the Court has not yet updated the docket).   There also appears to be a new relist in Philip Morris USA Inc v. Jackson, 10-735, and Weishuhn v. Catholic Diocese of Lansing, 10-760, and a second relist in a case I’ve run across, Huber v. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, 10-388

If a case has been relisted once, it generally means that the Court is paying close attention to the case, and the chances of a grant are higher than for an average case.  But once a case has been relisted more than twice, it is generally no longer a likely candidate for plenary review, and is more likely to result in a summary reversal or a dissent from the denial of cert.

Title: Maples v. Allen (relisted after 9/27/10, 1/14/11, 2/25/11 and 3/4/11 Conferences)
Docket: 10-63
Issue(s): (1) Whether the Eleventh Circuit properly held that the purported state procedural default rule is “adequate” as a matter of federal law to bar federal habeas review of serious constitutional claims; and (2) whether the Eleventh Circuit properly held that there was no “cause” to excuse any procedural default where petitioner was blameless for the default, the state’s own conduct contributed to the default, and petitioner’s attorneys of record were no longer functioning as his agents at the time of any default.

Certiorari stage documents:

Title: Burris v. Judge (relisted after 2/18, 2/25 , and 3/4 Conferences)
Docket: 10-367

Issue(s): Whether the Seventh Circuit erred in upholding an injunction that limited the candidates at a special election who could be placed on the ballot to temporarily fill Barack Obama’s old Senate seat to candidates already on the ballot for the upcoming election for a full six-year term (thus effectively preventing appointed Senator Roland Burris from participating in the special election).

Certiorari stage documents:

Title: Huber v. New Jersey Dep’t of Environmental Protection (relisted after 2/25 and (apparently) 3/4 Conferences)
Docket: 10-388

Issue(s): Whether a soil inspection on private property was a Fourth Amendment violation or was a valid warrantless administrative inspection of wetlands.

Certiorari stage documents:

Title: Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC (relisted after 2/25 Conference and, apparently, 3/4  Conference; possibly held pending arrival of BIO in Skrzypczak v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Tulsa, 10-769 )
Docket: 10-553
Issue(s): Whether the ministerial exception, which prohibits most employment-related lawsuits against religious organizations by employees performing religious functions, applies to a teacher at a religious elementary school who teaches the full secular curriculum, but also teaches daily religion classes, is a commissioned minister, and regularly leads students in prayer and worship.

Certiorari stage documents:

Title: Weishuhn v. Catholic Diocese of Lansing (apparently relisted after 3/4  Conference; possibly held pending arrival of BIO in Skrzypczak v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Tulsa, 10-769 )

Docket: 10-760

Issue(s): (1) Whether the ministerial exception grounded in the First Amendment bars employees of religious institutions, from asserting a state civil rights claim where the employment action does not involve selection of employees or an examination of church doctrine; (2) whether an employee of a religious institution who is found to be a ministerial employee should be barred from bringing a state whistleblowers’ action.

Certiorari stage documents

Title: Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Jackson (apparently relisted after 3/4  Conference)

Docket: 10-735

Issue(s): Whether the Due Process Clause prevents state courts from employing the class-action device to eliminate fundamental substantive and procedural protections that would otherwise apply to adjudications of class members’ individual claims.

Certiorari stage documents:

§  Opinion below (Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit)

§  Petition for certiorari

§  Brief in opposition

§  Petitioners’ reply

§  Amicus brief of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States

§  Amicus brief of the Pacific Legal Foundation

§  Amicus brief of DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar

§  Amicus brief of the Washington Legal Foundation

Title: Felkner v. Jackson (relisted after 2/18 and 2/25 Conferences)
Docket: 10-797
Issue(s): Whether a ruling by the court of appeals on habeas, reversing a district court’s decision and finding a state prosecutor’s proffered race-neutral bases for peremptorily striking two out of three African-American jurors insufficient, satisfies the restrictions on habeas corpus relief imposed by Congress in 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)?

Certiorari stage documents:

Title: Quinn v. Judge (relisted after 2/18 and 2/25 Conferences)
Docket: 10-821
Issue(s): Whether, contrary to the longstanding practice and the laws of many States, the Seventeenth Amendment requires a special election to fill a vacant Senate seat “every time that a vacancy happens in the state’s senate delegation”-as the decision below holds-even where the vacated term will expire in the normal course following the next, biennial Congressional election.

Certiorari stage documents:

Recommended Citation: John Elwood, Relist watch UPDATED 10:00 AM 3/8, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 7, 2011, 3:13 PM),