In its Conference of June 4, 2015, the Court is considering petitions seeking review of issues such as the constitutionality of the University of Texas at Austin’s consideration of race in its undergraduate admissions process, a possible cap on filing fees for prisoners filing multiple in forma pauperis petitions, and the ability of Indian tribal courts to adjudicate civil tort claims against nonmembers.

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.

14-882

Issue(s): Whether the Federal Arbitration Act preempts a state-law rule holding that an arbitration agreement is unenforceable unless it affirmatively explains that the contracting party is waiving the right to sue in court.

14-772

Issue(s): (1) Whether the Fifth Circuit's categorical rule that counsel’s failure to investigate and present even the most compelling mitigating evidence of mental illness can never prejudice the defendant at sentencing, because such evidence always establishes a degree of dangerousness presumed to outweigh any jury finding of decreased culpability, is consistent with this Court's Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment decisions; and (2) whether the Fifth Circuit’s decision denying petitioner an evidentiary hearing regarding his competence to proceed pro se is consistent with the jurisprudence of this Court and the plain language of 28 U.S.C. § 2255, which requires an evidentiary hearing “[u]nless the motion and the files and records of the case conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled to no relief.”

 

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."

14-1124

Issue(s): Whether the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits a state court from certifying a class action, and entering a monetary judgment in favor of the class, where the court permits the use of extrapolation to relieve individual class members of their burden of proof and forecloses the defendants from presenting individualized defenses to class members’ claims.

14-1123

Issue(s): Whether the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits a state court from certifying a class action, and entering a monetary judgment in favor of the class, where the court permits the use of extrapolation to relieve individual class members of their burden of proof and forecloses the defendants from presenting individualized defenses to class members’ claims.

14-1146

Issue(s): (1) Whether differences among individual class members may be ignored and a class action certified under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3), or a collective action certified under the Fair Labor Standards Act, where liability and damages will be determined with statistical techniques that presume all class members are identical to the average observed in a sample; and (2) whether a class action may be certified or maintained under Rule 23(b)(3), or a collective action certified or maintained under the Fair Labor Standards Act, when the class contains hundreds of members who were not injured and have no legal right to any damages.

14-807

Issue(s): (1) Whether the state courts were objectively unreasonable when they held that DeBruce failed to establish that his counsel performed deficiently at the penalty phase of his trial; and (2) whether the state courts were objectively unreasonable when they held that DeBruce had not been prejudiced by his counsel’s performance.

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.

14-997

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.

14-990

Issue(s): Whether a single-judge district court may determine that a complaint covered by 28 U.S.C. § 2284 is insubstantial, and that three judges therefore are not required, not because it concludes that the complaint is wholly frivolous, but because it concludes that the complaint fails to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).

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.

14-419

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.

 

CVSGs

13-1496
Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the petitioners in this case.

Issue(s): Whether Indian tribal courts have jurisdiction to adjudicate civil tort claims against nonmembers, including as a means of regulating the conduct of nonmembers who enter into consensual relationships with a tribe or its members. CVSG: 5/12/2015.

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: John Ehrett, Petitions to watch | Conference of June 4, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 5, 2015, 8:59 PM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2015/06/petitions-to-watch-conference-of-june-4/