Petitions of the week
on Feb 28, 2020 at 1:00 pm
This week we highlight petitions pending before the Supreme Court that address, among other things, whether Congress’ omission of a mens rea for the offense of sexual assault by bodily harm means mere negligence as to the lack of consent suffices; whether the “self-executing” just compensation clause abrogates a state’s 11th Amendment immunity, allowing a property owner to sue the state for a taking of property; and whether, in civil forfeiture lawsuits, when a district court has ordered the United States to return the seized money and the lawsuit will never be refiled, it is an abuse of discretion for the dismissal to be without prejudice.
The petitions of the week are below the jump:
Nassau County District Attorney’s Office v. Orlando
Issues: (1) Whether the court of appeals violated the deferential review requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) by setting aside a state murder conviction based on its de novo analysis of a confrontation claim without fulfilling its obligation to consider the arguments supporting the state court’s denial of the claim or whether fair-minded jurists could agree with the state court’s conclusions; (2) whether the court of appeals misapplied the Supreme Court’s holdings in Bruton v. United States and Tennessee v. Street, and violated Teague v. Lane, by granting habeas relief based on a new rule of law, when it held that the constitutional guarantee of confrontation precludes the admission of inculpatory accomplice statements—even if not admitted for their truth and accompanied by limiting instructions—unless the defendant has testified and the state refrains from referencing the accomplice statements in any manner or expressly disavows the truth of the statements; and (3) whether the court of appeals erred in determining that the state court’s failure to follow its new confrontation rule constituted an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States, when the Supreme Court has never promulgated the new confrontation rule announced by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.
Pittman v. Harris
Issues: (1) Whether in Scott v. Harris the Supreme Court announced an “exception” to the summary-judgment standard in cases commenced under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and if not, whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit erred when it deviated from other circuit holdings and announced that Scott directs the lower courts to examine whether a self-serving narrative is contradicted by individual pieces of the record, as opposed to the entire record, to discern if a genuine dispute of material fact exists; and (2) whether the respondent, Herman Harris, “clearly established” his right to be free from excess force when Harris assaulted the petitioner, Zachery Pittman, in a wooded area, attempted to murder Pittman with his service weapon and presented a lethal threat until Pittman fired in rapid succession.
McDonald v. United States
Issue: Whether Congress’ omission of a mens rea for the offense of sexual assault by bodily harm means mere negligence as to the lack of consent suffices.
Salgado v. United States
Issues: (1) Under what circumstances a civil forfeiture claimant “substantially prevail[s]” under 28 U.S.C. § 2465(b)(1); and (2) whether, in civil forfeiture lawsuits, when a district court has ordered the United States to return the seized money and the lawsuit will never be refiled, it is an abuse of discretion for the dismissal to be without prejudice.
Tun-Cos v. Perrotte
Issue: Whether victims of an unconstitutional search and seizure, who were subjected to a home raid and detention without a warrant or suspicion by law enforcement agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting in contravention of both agency policy and clearly established constitutional rights, may bring a civil action against those rogue agents under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics.
Bank of America Corp. v. City of Miami, Florida
Issue: Whether, under the Supreme Court’s decisions in this and other proximate-cause cases, the Fair Housing Act’s proximate-cause element requires more than just some “logical bond” between a statutory violation and the claimed injury.
Wells Fargo & Co. v. City of Miami, Florida
Issue: Whether proximate cause in private litigation about the Fair Housing Act requires more than a “logical bond” between the alleged statutory violation and the plaintiff’s injury.
Bay Point Properties Inc. v. Mississippi Transportation Commission
Issue: Whether the “self-executing” just compensation clause abrogates a state’s 11th Amendment immunity, allowing a property owner to sue the state for a taking of property.
Leeper v. Hamilton County Coal, LLC
Issues: (1) Whether courts should distinguish between “terminations” and “layoffs” under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act by applying an objective standard that examines the employees’ reasonable expectation of recall at the time of the employment cessation, based on the employer’s written and oral communications, policies and practices, industry standards and other factors; and (2) whether “a reduction in hours of work of more than 50 percent during each month of any 6- month period” under the WARN Act includes months in which the employee suffers a 100 percent reduction in hours.
Texas v. California
Issues: (1) Whether the unconstitutional individual mandate to purchase minimum essential coverage is severable from the remainder of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; and (2) whether the district court properly declared the ACA invalid in its entirety and unenforceable anywhere.