In its Conference of April 22, 2016, the Court will consider petitions involving issues such as whether a change in state law reducing a prisoner’s ability to earn future good-time credits based on new or continuing prison misconduct violates the Ex Post Facto Clause as applied to a prisoner who committed his underlying crime before the change in law; the appropriate test to determine when a feature of a useful article is protectable under Section 101 of the Copyright Act; and whether the Court should reconsider, and then overrule or modify, the portion of Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City barring property owners from filing a federal takings claim in federal court until they exhaust state court remedies.

15-525
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 a finding by the FTC that a truthful advertisement nonetheless implies a misleading message to a minority of consumers, and therefore receives no First Amendment protection, must be reviewed de novo.

15-623

Issue(s): (1) Whether Garrity v. New Jersey and its progeny require regulators either to obtain a formal grant of immunity from all potential prosecutorial agencies or to issue a prophylactic notice about Garrity immunity before the regulators may take licensing action against a licensee who invokes the Fifth Amendment to avoid answering regulatory-related questions; and (2) whether an occupational licensee who shields himself from regulatory questioning with the Fifth Amendment and suffers licensing consequences can successfully wield the Fifth Amendment as a sword in a § 1983 action, even though the licensee provided no incriminating statements to the regulators and faced no criminal proceedings.

15-631

Issue(s): (1) Whether the Court should reconsider, and then overrule or modify, the portion of Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City barring property owners from filing a federal takings claim in federal court until they exhaust state court remedies, when this rule results in numerous jurisdictional “anomalies” and has a “dramatic” negative impact on takings law under San Remo Hotel, L.P. v. City and County of San Francisco; and (2) whether, alternatively, federal courts can and should waive Williamson County’s state litigation requirement for prudential reasons when a federal takings claim is factually concrete without state procedures, as some circuit courts hold, or apply the requirement as a rigid jurisdictional barrier, as other circuits hold.

15-833

Issue(s): (1) Whether the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act’s presumption that a state decision rejecting a claim is a ruling on the merits can be rebutted by looking through to an earlier state ruling which applied a procedural bar that, under state law, could not be the basis for the later decision; and (2) whether, if so, a change in state law reducing a prisoner’s ability to earn future good-time credits based on new or continuing prison misconduct violates the Ex Post Facto Clause as applied to a prisoner who committed his underlying crime before the change in law.

15-866

Issue(s): What is the appropriate test to determine when a feature of a useful article is protectable under section 101 of the Copyright Act.

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: John Ehrett, Petitions to watch | Conference of April 22, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 19, 2016, 8:00 PM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2016/04/petitions-to-watch-conference-of-april-22/