At its December 2 Conference, the Court will consider such issues as religious worship in public school facilities during non-school hours and the “legally false” theory under the False Claims Act.  This edition of “Petitions to watch” features 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.


The Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education of the City of New York

Docket: 11-386
Issue(s): (1) Whether the government engages in viewpoint discrimination when it excludes expression that is in all other respects permitted in the forum because it is labeled a “religious worship service”; (2) whether the government creates a designated public forum by opening its facilities broadly to any expression “pertaining to the welfare of the community,” so that it must justify the content-based exclusion of religious expression by a compelling state interest; (3) whether government concern about violating the Establishment Clause, and not an actual violation of that Clause, justifies the exclusion of private religious expression from a generally open forum; and (4) whether the government policy expressly excluding “religious worship services” from this forum violates the Free Exercise Clause.

Certiorari stage documents:

Blackstone Medical, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Susan Hutcheson

Docket: 11-269
Issue(s): (1) Whether an allegation that a defendant has committed a statutory violation renders a claim submitted by an unrelated party “legally false” for purposes of the FCA, where no statute or regulation expressly conditions payment of the unrelated party’s claim on the defendant’s compliance; and (2) whether and when a private citizen is authorized to use a “legally false” theory under the False Claims Act as a generalized enforcement mechanism for statutes, regulations, contractual obligations, or other program requirements that are not otherwise privately enforceable.

Certiorari stage documents:

Reichle v. Howards (Granted )

Docket: 11-262
Issue(s): (1) Whether the existence of probable cause to make an arrest bars a First Amendment retaliatory arrest claim; and (2) whether the court below erred by denying qualified and absolute immunity to petitioners where probable cause existed for respondent's arrest, the arrest comported with the Fourth Amendment, and the denial of immunity threatens to interfere with the split-second, life-or-death decisions of Secret Service agents protecting the President and Vice President.

Certiorari stage documents:

RadLAX Gateway Hotel, LLC v. Amalgamated Bank (Granted )

Docket: 11-166
Issue(s): Whether a debtor may pursue a Chapter 11 plan that proposes to sell assets free of liens without allowing the secured creditor to credit bid, but instead providing it with the indubitable equivalent of its claim under Section 1129(b)(2)(A)(iii) of the Bankruptcy Code.

Certiorari stage documents:

Hardy v. Cross

Docket: 11-74
Issue(s): Whether the court of appeals violated 28 U.S.C. § 2254 and Supreme Court precedent by overriding state court determinations of law and fact and awarding habeas relief based on a constitutional rule that this Court has never recognized and that the Seventh Circuit derived entirely from its own precedent.

Certiorari stage documents:

Wetzel v. Lambert

Docket: 11-38
Issue(s): Did the Third Circuit fail to properly apply the habeas deference standard to the state court's rejection of respondent's Brady claim?

Certiorari stage documents:

Cash v. Maxwell

Docket: 10-1548
Issue(s): (1) Whether, under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, a federal court may grant habeas relief on a claim that the state-court conviction rested on perjured testimony absent proof that the prosecution knew that the challenged testimony was false and when the state post-conviction court deemed the testimony truthful; and (2) whether, under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, a federal court may grant habeas corpus relief on a claim alleging suppression of exculpatory evidence when that evidence was unknown to law enforcement officials working on the case and without considering whether the state court might have rejected this claim.

Certiorari stage documents:


Posted in Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: Kiera Flynn, Petitions to watch | Conference of December 2, 2011, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 2, 2011, 5:00 PM),