At its Conference on May 14, 2015, the Court will consider petitions seeking review of issues such as pretrial restraint of a criminal defendant’s untainted assets under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, retaliation for speech and association protected by the First Amendment, and the constitutionality of a San Francisco gun ordinance.

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.

14-1020

Issue(s): Whether there is a Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process right to avoid a prolonged pretrial detention caused by a police officer's failure to disclose evidence that is “strongly indicative of innocence”; or, where there has been no trial and conviction, and thus no violation under Brady v. Maryland, whether pretrial deprivations of liberty are governed by the Fourth Amendment.

14-983

Issue(s): (1) Whether the Sixth Circuit properly applied the doubly deferential standard under federal due process and 28 U.S.C. § 2254 that governs review of a state court's holding that jury instructions could not have reasonably misled the jury on state law; and (2) whether the Sixth Circuit properly found that any alleged error was harmful under Brecht v. Abrahamson solely because the jury could have convicted the petitioner as an aider and abettor, not as the principal offender.

14-958

Issue(s): Whether Federal Rule of Evidence 702, as interpreted by Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals and its progeny, permits a district court to require epidemiological evidence as a precondition for admissibility of a qualified expert's opinion that a toxic substance is capable of causing a particular disease.

14-931

Issue(s): Whether Martinez v. Ryan modified the longstanding rule that a habeas petitioner must show “actual prejudice” in order to excuse the procedural default of a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.

14-872

Issue(s): (1) Whether considerations of “equity, comity, and federalism” insufficient to support abstention can override the holding in Mitchum v. Foster that 42 U.S.C. § 1983 is an “expressly authorized” statutory exception to the Anti-Injunction Act; and (2) whether, as this Court left unresolved in Hartman v. Moore, officials may be held liable for subjecting citizens to investigation in retaliation for First Amendment-protected speech and association, particularly where non-retaliatory grounds are insufficient to support the investigation.

14-774

Issue(s): Whether a court reviewing an arbitral award under the Federal Arbitration Act should deferentially review the arbitral body's interpretation and application of the parties' agreement regarding the selection and qualification of an arbitration panel, or should instead decide such matters de novo.

14-654

Issue(s): Whether the conspiracy offense proscribed in the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a), requires proof that a defendant committed an overt act in furtherance of the alleged conspiracy.

14-622

Issue(s): Whether the President's authority under 26 U.S.C. § 7443(f) to remove Tax Court judges violates the Constitution's separation of powers.

14-419

Issue(s): Whether the pretrial restraint of a criminal defendant's legitimate, untainted assets (those not traceable to a criminal offense) needed to retain counsel of choice violates the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.

Relists

14-857

Issue(s): (1) Whether a case becomes moot, and thus beyond the judicial power of Article III, when the plaintiff receives an offer of complete relief on his claim; (2) whether the answer to the first question is any different when the plaintiff has asserted a class claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, but receives an offer of complete relief before any class is certified; and (3) whether the doctrine of derivative sovereign immunity recognized in Yearsley v. W.A. Ross Construction Co., for government contractors is restricted to claims arising out of property damage caused by public works projects.

14-825

Issue(s): (1) Whether the Ninth Circuit erred in holding, contrary to this Court's decision in Demore v. Kim, that under United States v. Salerno, a denial of bail is permissible “only” after individualized assessments of flight risk or future dangerousness, thereby barring categorical denials of bail such as Arizona's Proposition 100 and calling into question categorical bans on bail in non-capital cases that exist in seventeen other states (and perhaps even calling into question categorical bans on bail in capital cases that exist in an additional twenty-two states); (2) whether, when adopting a categorical ban on bail for illegal aliens charged with serious felonies, a state may rely on logical assumptions, testimonial evidence of front-line prosecutors, and other anecdotal evidence that is in conformity with the empirical evidence of heightened flight risk by those unlawfully present in this country contained in studies conducted elsewhere, similar to what this Court has approved in analogous contexts, see City of Renton v. Playtime Theaters, Inc., or whether the state must conduct its own empirical analysis that is both jurisdiction- and category-specific in order to meet the requirements of Due Process; and (3) whether the Ninth Circuit erred in holding that Proposition 100 was facially unconstitutional, contrary to Salerno's requirement that a statute is facially invalid only if “no set of circumstances exists under which the Act would be valid,” because among those categorically denied bail by Arizona’s Proposition, 100 are individuals charged with capital crimes, whom the Ninth Circuit recognized could categorically be denied bail.

14-704

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.

14-631

Issue(s): Whether, when a criminal defendant seeks to vacate a guilty plea on the ground that defense counsel rendered ineffective assistance, in order to establish prejudice the defendant must show that but for counsel’s errors he would not have pleaded guilty and would have insisted on going to trial (as this Court, all twelve federal circuits, and virtually all the states hold), or whether the defendant must also show that had he gone to trial he would have been acquitted (as the Indiana Supreme Court persists in holding).

CVSGs

13-1547

Issue(s): Whether operation of a “stay-put” provision in 20 U.S.C. § 1415(j) – which requires that a child whose educational program under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is under dispute to remain in his or her then-current placement while statutory “proceedings” to resolve the dispute are pending – terminates upon entry of a final judgment by a state or federal trial court in favor of the school district, as the D.C. and Sixth Circuits have held, or whether it continues until completion of any subsequent appeal of that judgment, as the Third and Ninth Circuits have held. CVSG: 4/10/2015.

Posted in Everything Else

Recommended Citation: Maureen Johnston, Petitions to watch | Conference of May 14, SCOTUSblog (May. 14, 2015, 5:15 PM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2015/05/petitions-to-watch-conference-of-may-14/