This is the first installment of “Petitions to watch” featuring cases up for consideration at the Court’s September 29 “Long Conference.” Because the Court has not considered new petitions since the end of June, the number of petitions slated for review at the September 29 Conference is quite large – more than at any other Conference of the year. Therefore, over the next three weeks we will post three separate installments of petitions to watch. This first installment of petitions scheduled for consideration at the “Long Conference” includes petitions seeking review of issues such as the amendment of pleading after the entry of judgment, structuring damage awards under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the constitutionality of California’s ban on foie gras under the Dormant Commerce Clause.

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.

13-1499

Issue(s): Whether a rule of judicial conduct that prohibits candidates for judicial office from personally soliciting campaign funds violates the First Amendment.

13-1479

Issue(s): Whether, where one of the claims submitted to a jury is set aside after trial, a court must vacate the jury's general verdict, or may apply a “harmless error” exception.

13-1467

Issue(s): Whether the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act (FEHBA), which expressly “preempt[s] any State or local law” that would prevent enforcement of “[t]he terms of any contract” under FEHBA that “relate to the nature, provision, or extent of coverage or benefits (including payments with respect to benefits),” preempts state laws precluding carriers that administer FEHBA plans from seeking reimbursement or subrogation pursuant to the terms of FEHBA contracts. CVSG: 05/22/2015.

13-1441

Issue(s): Whether, to satisfy the First Amendment as applied in Renton v. Playtime Theatres, Inc. and its progeny, an hours-of-operation regulation targeting negative secondary effects must be supported by highly specific, statistically significant empirical evidence.

13-1428

Issue(s): Whether a state court's rejection of a claim of federal constitutional error on the ground that any error, if one occurred, was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt is an “adjudicat[ion] on the merits” within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), so that a federal court may set aside the resulting final state conviction only if the defendant can satisfy the restrictive standards imposed by that provision; and (2) whether the court of appeals properly applied the standard articulated in Brecht v. Abrahamson.

13-1398

Issue(s): (1) Whether Section 1927 of Title 28 of the United States Code, which provides that when an attorney “unreasonably and vexatiously” multiplies proceedings, he may be required “to satisfy personally the excess costs, expenses, and attorneys' fees reasonably incurred because of such conduct,” categorically prohibits courts from considering an attorney's ability to pay when exercising their discretion in determining the amount of sanctions to be imposed; and (2) whether Section 1927 permits courts to impose sanctions when the attorney’s conduct was neither reckless nor in subjective bad faith.

13-1379

Issue(s): Whether, under Buckman Co. v. Plaintiffs’ Legal Committee, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act impliedly preempts a private state-law claim for unfair competition premised on a party’s purported failure to obtain Food and Drug Administration approval, where the Food and Drug Administration itself has not imposed any such requirement. CVSG: 05/26/2015.

13-1367
Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, serves as counsel to the petitioners in this case.

Issue(s): (1) Whether a statute that denies a government benefit based on a recipient’s failure to express support for a proposed course of government action, is subject to, and survives, strict scrutiny under the First Amendment; and (2) whether, to successfully defend a viewpoint-discriminatory statute subject to intermediate scrutiny under Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. v. Public Service Commission, the government must prove that non-discriminatory measures would fail to satisfy the government's interests.

13-1361

Issue(s): Whether a foreign official’s common-law immunity for acts performed on behalf of a foreign state is abrogated by plaintiffs’ allegations that those official acts violate jus cogens norms of international law. CVSG: 1/30/2015.

13-1352

Issue(s): (1) Whether an individual's obligation to report suspected child abuse makes that individual an agent of law enforcement for purposes of the Confrontation Clause; and (2) whether a child's out-of-court statements to a teacher in response to the teacher's concerns about potential child abuse qualify as “testimonial” statements subject to the Confrontation Clause.

13-1343

Issue(s): Whether a court may increase a damage award under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to offset the negative tax liabilities a plaintiff will suffer for receiving back and future wages in one year compared to receiving them over several years.

13-1339

Issue(s): Whether Congress may confer Article III standing upon a plaintiff who suffers no concrete harm, and who therefore could not otherwise invoke the jurisdiction of a federal court, by authorizing a private right of action based on a bare violation of a federal statute. CVSG: 3/13/2015.

13-1313

Issue(s): Whether the Commerce Clause allows California to impose a complete ban on the sale of wholesome, USDA-approved poultry products from other States and countries - in this case, foie gras - based solely on the agricultural methods used by out-of-state farmers who raise their animals entirely beyond California's borders.

13-1305

Issue(s): Whether the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act (FEHBA), which governs the federal government’s provision of health benefits to millions of federal employees and their dependents, preempts state laws precluding carriers that administer FEHBA plans from seeking subrogation as required by their contracts with the Office of Personnel Management. CVSG: 05/22/2015.

13-1236

Issue(s): Whether the “freely given” standard for the amendment of pleading embodied in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a), and espoused in Foman v. Davis, applies to a motion to amend timely filed after the entry of judgment, as held by the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Tenth Circuits, or whether the entry of judgment categorically forecloses any application of Rule 15(a), as held by the First, Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits.

13-1175
Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the respondents in this case.

Issue(s): (1) Whether facial challenges to ordinances and statutes are permitted under the Fourth Amendment; and (2) whether a hotel has an expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment in a hotel guest registry where the guest-supplied information is mandated by law and an ordinance authorizes the police to inspect the registry, and if so, whether the ordinance is facially unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment unless it expressly provides for pre-compliance judicial review before the police can inspect the registry.

 

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Recommended Citation: Maureen Johnston, Petitions to watch | The “Long Conference” of September 29 (Part I), SCOTUSblog (Sep. 3, 2014, 12:00 PM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2014/09/petitions-to-watch-the-long-conference-of-september-29-part-i/