At its Conference on March 28, 2014, the Court will consider petitions seeking review of issues such as the proof required to justify removal to federal court, the scope of the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board’s review of claims, and the level of detail required for False Claims Act complaints.

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.  Our policy is to include and disclose all cases in which Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, represents either a party or an amicus in the case, with the exception of the rare cases in which Goldstein & Russell represents the respondent(s) but does not appear on the briefs in the case.

Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, serves as counsel to the petitioner in this case, which is listed without regard to its likelihood of being granted.

Issue(s): Whether and to what extent the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment entitles a condemned inmate to timely notice of the method by which he will be executed.


Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys work for or contribute to this blog in various capacities, serves as counsel to the petitioners in this case.

Issue(s): Whether in a case involving a significant harm to a substantial group of parties, a court of appeals’ sua sponte invention of an indisputably false fact that is the sole premise of its ruling so far departs from the ordinary and usual course of proceedings that the judgment should be summarily reversed.



Issue(s): Whether a defendant seeking removal to federal court is required to include evidence supporting federal jurisdiction in the notice of removal, or whether it is enough to allege the required “short and plain statement of the grounds for removal.”



Issue(s): Whether section 506(d) of the Bankruptcy Code permits a chapter 7 debtor to “strip off” a junior mortgage lien in its entirety when the outstanding debt owed to a senior lienholder exceeds the current value of the collateral.



Issue(s): Whether the Davis-Bacon Act, 40 U.S.C. §§ 3141-48, preempts a state common law cause of action for breach of contract.



Issue(s): Whether a federal statute that directs the Secretary of State, on request, to record the birthplace of an American citizen born in Jerusalem as born in "Israel" on a Consular Report of Birth Abroad and on a United States passport is unconstitutional on the ground that the statute "impermissibly infringes on the President's exercise of the recognition power reposing exclusively in him."



Issue(s): Whether the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit erred by reversing the United States Merit Systems Protection Board's (MSPB) interpretation of its enabling statute and extending Department of the Navy v. Egan, without congressional authorization, to restrict the MSPB's statutory scope of review in employee appeals arising from an agency decision that does not involve a security clearance or access to classified information.



Issue(s): Whether applying a state public-accommodations statute to require a photographer to create expressive images and picture books conveying messages that conflict with her religious beliefs violates the First Amendment’s ban on compelled speech.



Issue(s): (1) Whether the Ninth Circuit properly held – in conflict with this Court’s decisions – that the federal reserved water rights doctrine authorizes the unprecedented federal takeover of Alaska’s navigable waters sanctioned by the 1999 Rule; and (2) whether the Ninth Circuit properly proceeded on the premise – which also conflicts with this Court’s decisions – that the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act could be interpreted to federalize navigable waters at all given Congress’s silence on the Act’s application to navigable waters.




Issue(s): Whether Rule 9(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that a complaint under the False Claims Act “allege with particularity that specific false claims actually were presented to the government for payment,” as required by the Fourth, Sixth, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuits, or whether it is instead sufficient to allege the “particular details of” the “scheme to submit false claims” together with sufficient indicia that false claims were submitted, as held by the First, Fifth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits.




Issue(s): (1) Whether the court of appeals failed to apply the governing preponderance of the evidence standard in affirming the denial of petitioner's habeas corpus petition, thus denying him the meaningful review mandated by Boumediene v. Bush; and (2) whether the court of appeals improperly shifted the burden of proof to petitioner to disprove affiliation with al Qaeda or the Taliban at the time of his capture.



Issue(s): Whether courts deciding qualified immunity in Fourth Amendment cases should consider the factual reasonableness of the search or seizure when applying the second, “clearly established” prong of the test.



Issue(s): Whether, under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), state court adjudications are per se unreasonable and not entitled to deference under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(2) merely because the state court does not conduct an evidentiary hearing.

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: Mary Pat Dwyer, Petitions to watch | Conference of March 28, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 26, 2014, 10:38 PM),