Petitions of the week: First Step Act, student-athlete compensation, detained bystanders and more
on Nov 13, 2020 at 3:59 pm
This week we highlight cert petitions that ask the Supreme Court to review, among other things, resentencing under the First Step Act, amateurism in college sports under the Sherman Antitrust Act, and an exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement allowing police to detain bystanders.
In Bates v. United States, the justices are presented with the First Step Act, passed in 2018. Section 404 of the First Step Act permits district courts to resentence drug offenders in light of the Fair Sentencing Act. That 2010 law raised the thresholds of crack cocaine needed to trigger mandatory minimum sentences and thereby reduced sentencing disparities between offenses involving crack cocaine and those involving powder cocaine. In 2019, after the First Step Act went into effect, Drew Bates filed for a sentence reduction under the newly retroactive Fair Sentencing Act. Bates also asked that the district court consider a revision to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for mitigating roles, an amendment that was not in force at the time of his original sentencing. The district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit ruled that the First Step Act only allowed courts to consider sentencing changes under the Fair Sentencing Act; courts could not also consider changes to the Sentencing Guidelines. Arguing that the First Step Act gives district courts discretion to consider the guidelines and that the circuit courts are split on the matter, Bates asks the justices to review the 10th Circuit’s decision.
In National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Alston and American Athletic Conference v. Alston, Division I football and basketball players sued the NCAA and multiple collegiate conferences under the Sherman Antitrust Act. In 1984, the Supreme Court said in NCAA v. Board of Regents that rules concerning eligibility standards, including that “athletes must not be paid” and “must be required to attend class,” were procompetitive and should be analyzed differently than typical antitrust cases. Earlier this year, however, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that student-athlete payment limits violate the Sherman Act. The petitions from the NCAA and conferences ask the justices to review the 9th Circuit’s decision.
In Mastin v. United States, police officers executing an arrest warrant entered a hotel room where they met Darrius Mastin, who was not one of the suspects named in the arrest warrant. The officers nonetheless detained Mastin and, after a gun fell from his waistband, arrested him as a person with a prior felony conviction who was in possession of a firearm. The question before the justice is whether an exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement that allows officers to detain bystanders while executing a search warrant (Michigan v. Summers) also allows officers to do so while executing an arrest warrant.
These and other petitions of the week are below:
CBX Resources, L.L.C. v. ACE American Insurance Co.
Issue: Whether the Supreme Court should abolish the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit’s judicially created “finality trap” and resolve the conflict among the U.S. Courts of Appeals regarding the finality or non-finality under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 of a judgment when a party has dismissed — without prejudice — remaining unadjudicated claims.
Hull v. Rockwell
Issue: Whether a debtor may keep a state-law homestead exemption inside bankruptcy, notwithstanding that the proceeds would be subject to attachment and execution outside bankruptcy because the debtor sold the home and the exemption expired under applicable state law.
Mays v. Hines
Issue: Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit’s decision — invalidating Anthony Hines’ decades-old murder conviction and death sentence on the ground that a state court unreasonably applied Strickland v. Washington, when it concluded that Hines suffered no prejudice from any deficiencies in his counsel’s performance at the guilt and penalty phases of his capital trial — conflicts with the Supreme Court’s precedents governing claims of ineffective assistance of counsel under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.
IQVIA Inc. v. Mussat
Issue: Whether a district court with jurisdiction coextensive with a state court in the district can exercise personal jurisdiction over absent class members’ claims as part of a putative class action when the court concededly could not exercise personal jurisdiction over the absent class members’ claims if they had been brought in individual suits.
National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Alston
Issue: Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit erroneously held, in conflict with decisions of other circuits and general antitrust principles, that the National Collegiate Athletic Association eligibility rules regarding compensation of student-athletes violate federal antitrust law.
American Athletic Conference v. Alston
Issue: Whether the Sherman Act authorizes a court to subject the product-defining rules of a joint venture to full Rule of Reason review, and to hold those rules unlawful if, in the court’s view, they are not the least restrictive means that could have been used to accomplish their procompetitive goal.
Bates v. United States
Issue: Whether a district court that chooses to conduct a resentencing under Section 404 of the First Step Act is prohibited from considering a defendant’s current, legally correct Sentencing Guidelines range.