This week we highlight petitions pending before the Supreme Court that address, among other things, the constitutionality of Ohio’s elevated burden of proof for certain criminal defendants seeking a new trial on the basis of newly discovered evidence; whether the enforcement of generally applicable laws regulating public camping and sleeping constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment”; and whether three federal statutory provisions violate the First Amendment by conditioning the size of contributions to a political party on the content of the party’s speech.

The petitions of the week are below the jump:

Prade v. Ohio
19-230
Issue: Whether, when there is newly discovered evidence making it more likely than not that, in a new trial, the defendant would be acquitted, it violates the 14th Amendment’s due process clause to deny a new trial based on Ohio’s uniquely elevated burden of proof in which criminal defendants with newly discovered evidence are granted a new trial only if they provide clear and convincing evidence that, in a new trial, they would be acquitted.

Libertarian National Committee Inc. v. Federal Election Commission
19-234
Issues: (1) Whether limiting the size of Joseph Shaber’s uncoordinated testamentary bequest to the Libertarian Party violates the party’s First Amendment right to free speech; and (2) whether 52 U.S.C. §§ 30116(a)(1)(B), (a)(9) and 30125(a)(1) violate the First Amendment right of free speech by conditioning the size of contributions to a political party on the content of the party’s speech.

Benzon v. Kell
19-239
Issue: Whether a district court’s order staying and holding in abeyance a capital prisoner’s habeas corpus petition under Rhines v. Weber is immediately appealable under the collateral-order doctrine.

City of Boise, Idaho v. Martin
19-247
Issue: Whether the enforcement of generally applicable laws regulating public camping and sleeping constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment” prohibited by the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.

Jammal v. American Family Insurance Company
19-248
Issues: (1) Whether a district court’s finding that a worker is an employee under the common-law test should be reviewed for clear error, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 4th, 7th, 9th and 10th Circuits hold; using a hybrid standard, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd and 8th Circuits hold; or de novo, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit held here; and (2) whether the same traditional inquiry governs under all the statutes that incorporate the common-law test for employee status, as several circuits hold, or whether courts may modify the test based on the purpose of each statute, as the 6th Circuit held here.

Posted in Prade v. Ohio, Libertarian National Committee Inc. v. Federal Election Commission, Benzon v. Kell, City of Boise, Idaho v. Martin, Jammal v. American Family Insurance Company, Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: Andrew Hamm, Petitions of the week, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 27, 2019, 9:37 AM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2019/09/petitions-of-the-week-63/