At its Conference on April 17, 2015, the Court will consider petitions seeking review of issues such as the pleading standards under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the validity of redistricting plans in North Carolina, and the filing period for a constructive discharge claim under federal employment discrimination law.

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.


Issue(s): Whether a discrepancy between a vehicle's color and the color indicated by the license tag attached to the vehicle, when viewed through an officer's experience that such discrepancy is indicative of a license plate being switched between vehicles in violation of Florida's criminal law, establishes reasonable suspicion for an officer to perform a temporary detention under the Fourth Amendment.


Issue(s): Whether plaintiffs seeking overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act must support their allegations with detailed facts demonstrating the time, place, manner, or extent of their uncompensated work; or whether it is sufficient if plaintiffs' allegations give defendants fair notice of plaintiffs' claim for overtime and the grounds upon which it rests.


Issue(s): Whether the court of appeals erred in holding that liability under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act may be premised on the filing of a proof of claim in bankruptcy and determined using a least-sophisticated consumer standard.


Issue(s): (1) Whether, when a jury uses a general verdict form to award damages, and at least one but not all of the claims submitted to the jury is set aside on appeal, further proceedings to recalculate damages are required under the general verdict rule; and (2) whether, to benefit from the general verdict rule following a partial reversal on appeal, a litigant must object to the general verdict form and invoke the general verdict rule in advance of a partial reversal (as four courts of appeal have held), or whether these steps are unnecessary (as five courts of appeals have held).


Issue(s): (1) Whether an explicit policy of racial balancing and race-based line drawing can be justified under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by an incorrect view of the requirements of the federal Voting Rights Act; and (2) whether race-based districts are drawn as a safe harbor subject to strict scrutiny and required to use race no more than necessary to comply with the Voting Rights Act properly interpreted.


Issue(s): Whether the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977, 31 U.S.C. § 6301 et seq., requires the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to use procurement contracts rather than cooperative agreements as the legal instruments for conveying federal funds to state and local public housing agencies in connection with programs under Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 1437f.


Issue(s): Whether San Francisco’s attempt to deprive law-abiding individuals of immediate access to operable handguns in their own homes is any more constitutional than the District of Columbia's invalidated effort to do the same.


Issue(s): Whether, under federal employment discrimination law, the filing period for a constructive discharge claim begins to run when an employee resigns, as five circuits have held, or at the time of an employer's last allegedly discriminatory act giving rise to the resignation, as three other circuits have held.


Issue(s): (1) Whether, in a federal criminal case in which the defendant has introduced and the trial court has admitted evidence of good character under Federal Rule of Evidence 404(a)(2)(A), the trial court should instruct the jury that character evidence alone may create a reasonable doubt; and (2) whether testimony directly supporting a criminal defendant’s theory that he lacked a motive to commit the offense with which he is charged may be excluded under Federal Rule of Evidence 403 as unfairly prejudicial to the prosecution merely because it might also tend to establish a fact that the prosecution had already proven.



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.




Posted in Everything Else

Recommended Citation: Maureen Johnston, Petitions to watch | Conference of April 17, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 16, 2015, 12:37 PM),