This week we highlight petitions pending before the Supreme Court that address, among other things, whether the First Amendment invalidates a longstanding state constitutional provision limiting judges affiliated with any one political party to no more than a “bare majority” on the state’s highest courts and whether the Virgin Islands Supreme Court is bound by the Supreme Court’s equal-protection decisions when Congress explicitly applied the equal protection clause to the territory via a federal statute.

The petitions of the week are below the jump:

Capital Associated Industries Inc. v. Stein
19-281
Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is counsel on a cert-stage amicus brief in support of petitioner in this case. This listing occurs without regard to the likelihood that certiorari will be granted.
Issues: (1) Whether North Carolina statutes prohibiting Capital Associated Industries Inc.’s attorneys from providing legal assistance to its members violate the freedom of association guaranteed by the First and 14th Amendments; and (2) whether North Carolina statutes prohibiting Capital Associated Industries Inc.’s attorneys from providing legal assistance to its members are a content-based restriction on speech that must be reviewed under strict scrutiny.

TKC Aerospace Inc. v. Muhs
19-293
Issue: Whether a debtor’s conduct qualifies as causing a “willful and malicious” injury under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6) when the debtor’s acts were objectively certain to result in the injury giving rise to the debt.

Ranger American of the V.I. Inc. v. Balboni
19-304
Issue: Whether the Virgin Islands Supreme Court is bound by the Supreme Court’s equal-protection decisions when Congress explicitly applied the equal protection clause to the territory via a federal statute.

Carney v. Adams
19-309
Issues: (1) Whether the First Amendment invalidates a longstanding state constitutional provision that limits judges affiliated with any one political party to no more than a “bare majority” on the state’s three highest courts, with the other seats reserved for judges affiliated with the “other major political party”; and (2) whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit erred in holding that a provision of the Delaware Constitution requiring that no more than a “bare majority” of three of the state courts may be made up of judges affiliated with any one political party is not severable from a provision that judges who are not members of the majority party on those courts must be members of the other “major political party,” when the former requirement existed for more than 50 years without the latter, and the former requirement, without the latter, continues to govern appointments to two other courts.

New York Republican State Committee v. Securities and Exchange Commission
19-343
Issues: (1) Whether Rule 2030 – which regulates the political contributions of those members of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority who act as “placement agents” – violates the First Amendment by (a) imposing different contribution limits on candidates running for the same office, and/or (b) restricting otherwise lawful political activity despite the Security and Exchange Commission’s failure to identify one instance in which a lawful political contribution alone led to quid pro quo corruption; (2) whether the SEC has the authority to impose restrictions by regulation on the First Amendment rights of placement agents to make or solicit federal political contributions that are otherwise lawful under the Federal Election Campaign Act; and (3) whether Rule 2030 is arbitrary and capricious because it restricts otherwise lawful political activity despite the SEC’s failure to identify one instance in which a lawful political contribution alone led to fraudulent or manipulative practices.

Swisher International Inc. v. Trendsettah USA Inc.
19-349
Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among counsel for the respondent in this case. This listing occurs without regard to the likelihood that certiorari will be granted.
Issues: (1) Whether a jury verdict finding a defendant liable under Section 2 of the Sherman Act for refusing to deal or cooperate with a competitor may be upheld when the jury was not instructed (a) that a monopolist has no general duty to deal with its business rivals or (b) that the plaintiff must prove that the refusal was contrary to the defendant’s short-run interests; and (2) whether an impact on a single firm’s output can give rise to a presumption of injury to competition under Section 2 of the Sherman Act, even when marketwide output is increasing.

Posted in Capital Associated Industries Inc. v. Stein, TKC Aerospace Inc. v. Muhs, Ranger American of the V.I. Inc. v. Balboni, Carney v. Adams, New York Republican State Committee v. Securities and Exchange Commission, Swisher Int'l Inc. v. Trendsettah USA Inc., Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: Andrew Hamm, Petitions of the week, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 17, 2019, 10:00 AM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2019/10/petitions-of-the-week-66/