This edition of “Petitions to watch” features cases up for consideration at the Justices' April 22 conference.  These are petitions raising issues that Tom has determined to have a reasonable chance of being granted, although we post them here without consideration of whether they present appropriate vehicles in which to decide those issues.

M.B.Z. v. Clinton (Granted )

Docket: 10-699
Issue(s): (1) Whether the political question doctrine deprives a federal court of jurisdiction to enforce a federal statute that explicitly directs the Secretary of State how to record the birthplace of an American citizen on a Consular Report of Birth Abroad and on a passport; and (2) whether Section 214 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003, impermissibly infringes the President's power to recognize foreign sovereigns.

Certiorari stage documents:

Henderson v. United States

Docket: 10-918
Issue(s): (1) Whether a prior state disposition resulting in a one-year suspended sentence, which is not appealable or considered a "conviction" under state law, is a "prior conviction" that has "become final" for purposes of the penalty enhancement provision of 21 U.S.C. § 851; and (2) whether the Due Process Clause requires the court to apply the rule of lenity in choosing between conflicting precedents with regard to the interpretation of a sentencing statute when the issue has never been decided by the en banc court of appeals and neither decision has been overruled.

Certiorari stage documents:

The following petitions have been re-listed for the conference of April 22.  If any other paid petitions are re-distributed for this conference, we will add them below as soon as their re-distribution is noted on the docket.

Khadr v. Obama

Docket: 10-751
Issue(s): (1) Whether a district court considering a habeas corpus petition may give conclusive effect to the government’s assertion that the individual is unlikely to be tortured if transferred to another country? (2) Whether Section 242(a)(4) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act bars judicial review of claims under the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment except in appeals from final orders of deportation, and if so construed, whether Section 242(a)(4) violates the Equal Protection Clause or the Suspension Clause.

Certiorari stage documents:

Jones v. Keller

Docket: 10-804
Issue(s): (1) Whether the Supreme Court of North Carolina correctly held that the Due Process Clause permitted the state to continue to incarcerate prisoners even though they had been awarded sufficient sentence-reduction credits to mandate release; and (2) whether the Supreme Court of North Carolina correctly held that the Ex Post Facto Clause permitted the state to refuse to honor the sentence-reduction credits awarded to petitioners as prescribed by law at the time of petitioners' offenses.

Certiorari stage documents:

Bobby v. Mitts

Docket: 10-1000
Issue(s): (1) Whether the State of Ohio offends due process by using the same penalty-phase jury instruction affirmed by this Court in Smith v. Spisak (2010); and (2) whether clearly established federal law extends the holding of Beck v. Alabama (1980) to the penalty phase of a capital trial.

Certiorari stage documents:

Virginia v. Sebelius

Docket: 10-1014
Issue(s): (1) Whether the Commonwealth of Virginia has standing to challenge the minimum coverage provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, which requires individuals to maintain a minimum level of health insurance or pay a penalty; (2) whether the minimum coverage provision is a valid exercise of Congress's Article I powers; (3) whether the minimum coverage provision is severable from all the remaining provisions of the law; and (4) whether the district court erred when it denied injunctive relief.

Certiorari stage documents:

Posted in Featured, Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: Christa Culver, Petitions to watch | Conference of 04.22.11, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 19, 2011, 6:26 PM),