In its Conference of June 16, 2016, the Court will consider petitions involving issues such as whether non-citizens seeking admission to the United States who are subject to mandatory detention under 8 U.S.C. § 1225(b) must be given bond hearings if detention lasts six months; whether an attorney representing a defendant in a death penalty case may decide to present evidence of a single mitigating factor without having first conducted a thorough investigation of other potential mitigating factors; and whether a law prohibiting religiously motivated conduct violates the Free Exercise Clause when it exempts the same conduct when done for secular reasons.

15-862

Issue(s): Whether a law prohibiting religiously motivated conduct violates the Free Exercise Clause when it exempts the same conduct when done for a host of secular reasons, has been enforced only against religious conduct, and has a history showing an intent to target religion.

15-1204

Issue(s): (1) Whether aliens seeking admission to the United States who are subject to mandatory detention under 8 U.S.C. § 1225(b) must be afforded bond hearings, with the possibility of release into the United States, if detention lasts six months; (2) whether criminal or terrorist aliens who are subject to mandatory detention under Section 1226(c) must be afforded bond hearings, with the possibility of release, if detention lasts six months; and (3) whether, in bond hearings for aliens detained for six months under Sections 1225(b), 1226(c), or 1226(a), the alien is entitled to release unless the government demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that the alien is a flight risk or a danger to the community, whether the length of the alien’s detention must be weighed in favor of release, and whether new bond hearings must be afforded automatically every six months.

15-1205

Issue(s): (1) Whether criminal and terrorist aliens who are subject to mandatory detention under 8 U.S.C. § 1226(c) must be afforded bond hearings, with the possibility of release, if detention lasts six months; and (2) whether, in any such bond hearing, the criminal or terrorist alien is entitled to release unless the government demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that he is a flight risk or a danger to the community.

15-1251
Disclosure: Vinson & Elkins LLP, whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel on an amicus brief in support of the respondent in this case.

Issue(s): Whether the precondition in 5 U.S.C. 3345(b)(1) on service in an acting capacity by a person nominated by the President to fill the office on a permanent basis, requiring that a person who is nominated to fill a vacant office that is subject to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act may not perform the office’s functions and duties in an acting capacity unless the person served as first assistant to the vacant office for at least 90 days in the year preceding the vacancy, applies only to first assistants who take office under subsection (a)(1) of 5 U.S.C. 3345, or whether it also limits acting service by officials who assume acting responsibilities under subsections (a)(2) and (a)(3).

15-1307

Issue(s): Whether 8 U.S.C. § 1226(c) applies to noncitizens who were not detained “when . . . released” from criminal incarceration for a listed removable offense.

15-7073

Issue(s): (1) Whether it violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, as understood in Atkins v. Virginia and Hall v. Florida, for a State court to refuse to accept data from clinical interviews with persons who knew a death-sentenced prisoner during the “developmental period” where the uncontested testimony and scientific and clinical consensus finds such data to be useful in determining the second criteria for intellectual disability, i.e., adaptive functioning deficits; (2) whether it violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, as understood in Atkins and Hall, for a State court to impose a requirement that a death-sentenced prisoner present “normed data” from clinical instruments in order to prove the second criteria for intellectual disability under Atkins; and (3) whether it violates the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause for a State court to create a novel requirement that a death-sentenced prisoner present “normed data” from clinical instruments in order to prove the second criteria for intellectual disability under Atkins, and impose that requirement to deny relief to a prisoner who had no notice of the requirement during his evidentiary hearing.

15-7848

Issue(s): (1) Whether capital defense counsel may decide to present evidence of a single mitigating factor without having first conducted a thorough investigation of other potential mitigating factors and whether counsel's post-hoc concern about possible rebuttal evidence justifies the failure to investigate; and (2) whether, where a state court provides a reasoned decision denying relief, 18 U.S.C. Section 2254(d) permits a federal court to ignore the reasoning of the state court and substitute its own reasons for denying relief and whether the violent nature of the crime lessens the prejudice from unconstitutional shackling.

15-8544

Issue(s): (1) Whether Johnson v. United States applies retroactively to collateral cases challenging federal sentences enhanced under the residual clause in United States Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G.) § 4B1.2(a)(2) (defining “crime of violence”); (2) whether Johnson's constitutional holding applies to the residual clause in U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(a)(2), thereby rendering challenges to sentences enhanced under it cognizable on collateral review; and (3) whether mere possession of a sawed-off shotgun, an offense listed as a “crime of violence” only in commentary to U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2, remains a “crime of violence” after Johnson.

15-8629

Issue(s): (1) Whether Johnson v. United States announced a new substantive rule of constitutional law that applies retroactively on collateral review to challenges of sentences imposed under the residual clause in United States Sentencing Guidelines career offender provision, U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(a)(2); (2) whether Johnson's constitutional holding applies to U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(a)(2)'s identical residual clause thus rendering that provision void; and (3) whether Petitioner's Pennsylvania conviction for robbery by force however slight is a “crime of violence” because it is listed in the commentary to U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2, even though it does not interpret and conflicts with the text of the guideline, after Johnson.

 

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: Kate Howard, Petitions to watch | Conference of June 16, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 14, 2016, 9:02 PM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2016/06/petitions-to-watch-conference-of-june-16/