In its Conference of June 18, 2015, the Court will consider petitions seeking review of issues such as whether police officers conduct a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment when they trespass in common areas of locked apartment buildings to look for evidence of criminal activity, the constitutionality of the University of Texas at Austin’s consideration of race in its undergraduate admissions process, and whether Mississippi’s requirement that abortion physicians have admitting privileges at a local hospital to handle complications that require emergency hospitalization imposes an undue burden under Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

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.

14-1129
Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the petitioner in this case, which is included without regard to the likelihood that it will be granted.

Issue(s): (1) Whether the “stockbroker defense” in the Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. § 546(e), applies to payments that involve only fictitious securities transactions; and (2) whether the application of the “stockbroker defense” in the Bankruptcy Code to payments that involve only fictitious securities transactions is barred as inconsistent with the Securities Investor Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. § 78fff(b).

14-1128

Issue(s): (1) Whether the “stockbroker defense” under the Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. § 546(e), applies to payments that involve only fictitious securities transactions; and (2) whether the application of the “stockbroker defense” under the Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. § 546(e), to payments that involve only fictitious securities transactions is barred as inconsistent with the Securities Investor Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. § 78fff(b).

14-1096

Issue(s): Whether a state offense constitutes an aggravated felony under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43), on the ground that the state offense is “described in” a specified federal statute, where the federal statute includes an interstate commerce element that the state offense lacks.

14-973

Issue(s): Whether or under what circumstances police officers conduct a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment when they trespass in common areas of locked apartment buildings to look for evidence of criminal activity.

14-915
Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel on an amicus brief by the American Federation of Teachers and American Association of University Professors in support of the respondents in this case.

Issue(s): (1) Whether Abood v. Detroit Board of Education should be overruled and public-sector “agency shop” arrangements invalidated under the First Amendment; and (2) whether it violates the First Amendment to require that public employees affirmatively object to subsidizing nonchargeable speech by public-sector unions, rather than requiring that employees affirmatively consent to subsidizing such speech.

14-448

Issue(s): Whether, when an applicant for a patent amends a claim to overcome the Patent and Trademark Office’s earlier disallowance of the claim, a court should (i) presume that the amendment narrowed the claim and strictly construe the amended claim language against the applicant, as this Court has held; or (ii) presume that the claim scope remained the same and require that any narrowing be clear and unmistakable, as the Federal Circuit has held. CVSG: 05/19/2015.

14-181

Issue(s): Whether the Second Circuit – in a two-to-one panel decision that disregarded the considered opinion advanced by the United States as amicus – erred in holding that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) preempts Vermont's health care database law as applied to the third-party administrator for a self-funded ERISA plan. CVSG: 05/19/2015.

 

Relists

14-395

Issue(s): Whether the Fourth Circuit contravened 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1) when it granted habeas relief on the ground that the North Carolina state courts unreasonably applied "clearly established" law when they held that third-party religious discussions with jurors did not concern "the matter[s] pending before the jury."

14-602

Issue(s): Whether, at capital sentencing, the government may seek to prove the aggravating factor that the defendant committed previous unadjudicated murders through hearsay statements to police of other suspects in those murders, without permitting the defendant to confront or cross-examine his accusers.

14-981

Issue(s): Whether the Fifth Circuit’s re-endorsement of the University of Texas at Austin’s use of racial preferences in undergraduate admissions decisions can be sustained under this Court’s decisions interpreting the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, including Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.

14-997

Issue(s): (1) Whether the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires Mississippi to exempt physicians at the State’s only abortion clinic from complying with a medically legitimate health and safety regulation that applies to physicians at all other outpatient surgical facilities; and (2) whether Mississippi House Bill 1390, which requires that abortion physicians have admitting privileges at a local hospital to handle complications that require emergency hospitalization, imposes an undue burden under Planned Parenthood v. Casey regardless of the geographical availability of abortion services in adjoining states in light of the equal protection principle articulated in Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada.

14-1006

Issue(s): Whether restitution imposed on a criminal defendant is a criminal penalty subject to the requirement under the Sixth Amendment that the government allege in the indictment and prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt any fact that increases the amount of criminal sentences, penalties, and punishments.

 

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: John Ehrett, Petitions to watch | Conference of June 18, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 16, 2015, 2:24 PM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2015/06/petitions-to-watch-conference-of-june-18/