This week we highlight petitions pending before the Supreme Court that address, among other things, whether a school district’s decision to educate a child with disabilities outside the regular classroom violates the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s mainstreaming mandate and whether a court evaluating prejudice under Strickland v. Washington may hypothesize that the jury may have disbelieved the state’s case, as well as four legal questions arising out of the Flint water crisis.

The petitions of the week are below the jump:

City of Flint, Michigan v. Guertin
19-205
Issues: (1) Whether the substantive-due-process right to bodily integrity should be extended to protect the public at large from exposure to an environmental toxin resulting from governmental policy decisions; (2) whether it is plausible that a municipal officer’s actions were conscience-shocking when the respondents admit that the policy decisions were based on the advice and direction of the controlling state regulatory agency and with the advice of expert advisors; (3) whether, if the answer to the first or second question is “yes,” the right was clearly established; and (4) whether the city, which was under the substantially complete control and authority of the state under Michigan’s “Local Financial Stability and Choice Act of 2012,” was an arm of the state and thus entitled to immunity from suit under the 11th Amendment.

Time Warner Cable Inc. v. Sprint Communications Co.
19-211
Issues: (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit erred by affirming a damages award based on unapportioned end-user service revenues; and (2) whether the Federal Circuit erred in ruling that a patent satisfies 35 U.S.C. §112(a)’s requirement of “a written description of the invention” merely because the specification does “not expressly exclude[]” technology within the scope of the patent claims.

Syed v. Maryland
19-227
Issue: Whether a court evaluating prejudice under Strickland v. Washington must take the state’s case as it was presented to the jury, as 10 state and federal courts have held, or whether the court may instead hypothesize that the jury may have disbelieved the state’s case, as the Maryland Court of Appeals held below.

C.D. v. Natick Public School District
19-229
Issue: Whether a school district’s decision to educate a child with disabilities outside the regular classroom violates the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s mainstreaming mandate.

Posted in City of Flint, Michigan v. Guertin, Time Warner Cable Inc. v. Sprint Communications Co., Syed v. Maryland, C.D. v. Natick Public School District, Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: Andrew Hamm, Petitions of the week, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 20, 2019, 10:00 AM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2019/09/petitions-of-the-week-62/