Petitions We’re Watching

You can select a particular conference (or the cases referred to the Solicitor General) below or click here to instead sort by the case's name. (Sorting by case name prompts display of the complete, searchable list of cases.)

View this list sorted by case name.

Petitions Relisted for the Next Conference

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
19-1392 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (1) Whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional; (2) whether the validity of a pre-viability law that protects women's health, the dignity of unborn children and the integrity of the medical profession and society should be analyzed under Planned Parenthood v. Casey's "undue burden" standard or Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt's balancing of benefits and burdens; and (3) whether abortion providers have third-party standing to invalidate a law that protects women's health from the dangers of late-term abortions.
19-8695 Gutierrez v. Saenz (1) Whether, under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, the state’s decision to deprive Mr. Gutierrez of the opportunity to be accompanied during his execution by a religious adviser employed by the prison substantially burdens the exercise of his religion, requiring the state to justify the deprivation as the least restrictive means of advancing a compelling governmental interest; and (2) whether, for purposes of the free exercise clause, the state’s blanket policy of denying all prisoners the aid of a religious adviser at the time of the execution—adopted for the acknowledged purpose of avoiding the obligation to allow such a minister to a Buddhist prisoner—burdens Mr. Gutierrez’s exercise of religion without legitimate justification.
20-60 Silver v. U.S. Whether a public official can be convicted of bribery absent proof of an agreed exchange with the alleged bribe payor, based solely on his unexpressed, unilateral state of mind when receiving a benefit; (2) whether a conviction for Hobbs Act extortion can be based on a theory of simple bribery; and (3) whether, if the government elects not to argue harmless error, a court of appeals may raise harmless error sua sponte, without providing the defendant any opportunity to be heard on the issue.
20-82 Kane County, Utah v. U.S. (1) Whether Rule 24(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows intervention as of right where the movant does not have a significant, cognizable interest in the lawsuit; and (2) whether the United States adequately represents its title, which is the only interest at issue in a quiet title suit.
20-96 U.S. v. Kane County, Utah Whether an advocacy organization’s environmental concerns qualify as an “interest” required by Rule 24(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for the organization to intervene as of right as a party defendant in a pending civil action, where no judicial relief could be granted against that organization in the action and its environmental concerns are unrelated to any claim or defense that the organization could itself assert in the action.
20-97 Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association v. Ross (1) Whether, in conflict with the holdings of the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 5th and 11th Circuits and the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, the Antiquities Act applies to ocean areas beyond United States’ sovereignty where the federal government has only limited regulatory authority; and (2) whether the president can evade the Antiquities Act’s “smallest area” requirement, including designating ocean monuments larger than most states, by vaguely referencing “resources” or an “ecosystem” as the objects to be protected.
20-101 Harris v. Maryland Whether, when preindictment delay has caused actual prejudice to the accused’s ability to defend himself, the due process clause requires that the defendant prove that the delay was driven by an improper prosecutorial motive, or that courts balance the particular prejudice to the defendant against the particular reasons (or lack thereof) for the delay.
20-197 Trump v. Knight First Amendment Institute Whether the First Amendment deprives a government official of his right to control his personal Twitter account by blocking third-party accounts if he uses that personal account in part to announce official actions and policies.
20-257 Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. v. Scott Whether a district court may consider factors other than the presence of a single material question of law or fact common to a group of employees when assessing whether the employees are “similarly situated” for purposes of the collective-action provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
20-287 Johnson v. Precythe (1) Whether Bucklew v. Precythe established a categorical rule that a state may obtain dismissal of an Eighth Amendment method-of-execution claim by proffering a reason for rejecting the plaintiff’s opposed alternative method of execution that is legitimate in the abstract, regardless of whether the plaintiff has plausibly alleged that the state’s proffered reason is not legitimate or sufficient on the facts of the case; and (2) whether, in the alternative, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit’s refusal to permit Ernest Johnson, after the Supreme Court’s decision in Bucklew was issued, to amend his complaint to propose a previously-used alternative method of execution warrants summary reversal.
20-303 U.S. v. Vaello-Madero Whether Congress violated the equal-protection component of the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment by establishing Supplemental Security Income — a program that provides benefits to needy aged, blind and disabled individuals — in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and in the Northern Mariana Islands pursuant to a negotiated covenant, but not extending it to Puerto Rico.
20-305 Planned Parenthood Center for Choice v. Abbott Whether, pursuant to United States v. Munsingwear Inc., the Supreme Court should vacate the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit's judgments granting writs of mandamus.
20-443 U.S. v. Tsarnaev (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit erred in concluding that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s capital sentences must be vacated on the ground that the district court, during its 21-day voir dire, did not ask each prospective juror for a specific accounting of the pretrial media coverage that he or she had read, heard or seen about Tsarnaev’s case; and (2) whether the district court committed reversible error at the penalty phase of Tsarnaev’s trial by excluding evidence that Tsarnaev’s older brother was allegedly involved in different crimes two years before the offenses for which Tsarnaev was convicted.
20-542 Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Boockvar (1) Whether the Pennsylvania Supreme Court usurped the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s plenary authority to “direct [the] Manner” for appointing electors for president and vice president under Article II of the Constitution, as well as the assembly’s broad power to prescribe “[t]he Times, Places, and Manner” for congressional elections under Article I, when the court issued a ruling requiring the state to count absentee ballots that arrive up to three days after Election Day as long as they are not clearly postmarked after Election Day; and (2) whether that decision is preempted by federal statutes that establish a uniform nationwide federal Election Day.
20-574 Scarnati v. Pennsylvania Democratic Party (1) Whether the Pennsylvania Supreme Court usurped the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s plenary authority to “direct [the] Manner” for appointing electors for president and vice president under Article II of the Constitution, as well as the assembly’s broad power to prescribe “[t]he Times, Places, and Manner” for congressional elections under Article I, when the court issued a ruling requiring the state to count absentee ballots that arrive up to three days after Election Day as long as they are not clearly postmarked after Election Day; and (2) whether that decision is preempted by federal statutes that establish a uniform nationwide federal Election Day.
22O153 Texas v. California Whether California’s sanctions against Texas and Texans – prohibiting state-funded or state-sponsored travel to Texas because Texas protects the religious freedom of faith-based child welfare providers within its borders – are born of religious animus and violate the Constitution’s privileges and immunities clause, interstate commerce clause and guarantee of equal protection. CVSG: 12/4/2020.

Petitions We’re Watching for the Next Conference

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
20-518 Mastin v. U.S. Whether Michigan v. Summers authorizes police officers executing an arrest warrant to detain a bystander without individualized suspicion.
20-400 Avery v. U.S. Whether a state burglary statute that disjunctively lists places that may be burgled under the statute is divisible for purposes of a sentence enhancement under the Armed Career Criminal Act, even though the statutory list is not exclusive and does not require the jury to agree that the defendant burgled any particular listed place.
20-380 Idenix Pharmaceuticals LLC v. Gilead Sciences Inc. (1) Whether, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has held, a genus claim is not enabled “as a matter of law” if it encompasses a large number of compounds — or whether, as the Supreme Court has recognized, enablement is a context-specific jury question; and (2) whether, as the Federal Circuit has held, 35 U.S.C. § 112(a) contains a separate “possession” requirement — or whether, as the statute provides, Section 112(a) sets forth a single substantive requirement of “a written description of the invention” sufficient “to enable any person skilled in the art … to make and use the same.”
20-356 Barr v. Banuelos-Galviz Whether the government must provide the written notice required to trigger the stop-time rule, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(d)(1)(A), in a single document.

Featured Petitions

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
22O154 New Hampshire v. Massachusetts Whether Massachusetts' tax rule — which subjects nonresident earned income received for services performed outside Massachusetts to the state’s income tax — is unconstitutional confiscation.
20A63 Trump v. Vance Whether the Supreme Court should stay, pending appeal, a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upholding the dismissal of President Donald Trump's claims that a grand-jury subpoena for his financial records – which the justices declined to invalidate in July – is overbroad and was issued in bad faith.
20A131 Johnson v. Rosen Whether the Supreme Court should temporarily stay the executions of Corey Johnson and Dustin Higgs in order to consider their claim that their recent diagnosis of COVID-19, and resulting lung damage, will cause them to suffer excessive pain if given a lethal injection, in violation of the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
20A130 Johnson v. U.S. (1) Whether the Supreme Court should temporarily stay the execution of Corey Johnson in order to consider his claim of intellectual disability, which would make him ineligible for the death penalty under the Federal Death Penalty Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3596(c); and (2) whether the court should temporarily stay the execution to consider whether Johnson is entitled to seek a sentencing reduction under the First Step Act of 2018.
20A120 Gish v. Newsom Whether the Supreme Court should temporarily suspend executive orders by California Gov. Gavin Newsom that restrict attendance at houses of worship while allowing some secular business to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic in light of the court's decision in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo.
20-928 National Coalition For Men v. Selective Service System Whether, in light of the Department of Defense having lifted the ban on women in combat, the Supreme Court should overrule Rostker v. Goldberg, which upheld the men-only draft because women at that time were categorically prohibited from serving in combat roles, and hold that the federal requirement that men but not women register for the Selective Service, authorized under 50 U.S.C. § 3802(a), violates the right to equal protection guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment.
20-927 U.S. v. Higgs Whether the Supreme Court should direct a federal district court in Maryland to designate Indiana as the alternate state whose law shall prescribe the manner of executing Dustin Higgs under 18 U.S.C. § 3596(a), and make clear that the execution may proceed as scheduled on Jan. 15, 2021.
20-921 Castillo v. Virginia (1) Whether the confrontation clause allows a non-victim child witness to testify against his father via two-way closed-circuit television when the witness cannot see his father and does not know that his father is on trial for murder; and (2) whether, given that Crawford v. Washington removed the underpinnings of Maryland v. Craig, Craig should be overruled.
20-911 Jackson v. Hudson Whether 28 U.S.C. § 2255 — which allows a person in federal custody to challenge the legality of his detention by filing a post-conviction motion, as well as a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 if the Section 2255 remedy is “inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention” — is “inadequate or ineffective” when, at the time of petitioner’s initial Section 2255 motion, circuit precedent foreclosed a potential claim, but that precedent has since been overruled by the Supreme Court.
20-895 Seldin v. Estate of Silverman (1) Whether the Federal Arbitration Act categorically forecloses courts from vacating an arbitration award on the ground that the award is contrary to public policy; and (2) whether the FAA’s protection against an arbitrator’s “evident partiality” is triggered when there is a reasonable impression of partiality, or instead by a more heightened standard such as a showing of actual bias.
20-886 McCoy v. U.S. Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit erred in applying the test from Brunner v. New York State Higher Education Services Corp., which prohibits discharge unless the debtor can prove, among other things, a “total incapacity” to repay the debt in the future, instead of the totality test to determine whether a debtor would suffer an “undue hardship” absent discharge of her student loan debt.
20-880 Holland v. Westmoreland Coal Co. (1) Whether the exception to the Anti-Injunction Act in South Carolina v. Regan — in which the Supreme Court held that the AIA did not bar South Carolina from filing an original-jurisdiction action in the Supreme Court to raise a 10th Amendment challenge to an income tax assessed on private citizens — is available to debtors who want to avoid paying a tax for reasons unrelated to the tax’s validity; and (2) whether Coal Industry Retiree Health Benefit Act premiums are “any tax” protected by the Anti-Injunction Act.
20-875 Kong v. City of Burnsville, Minnesota Whether, on interlocutory review of a denial of qualified immunity, an appellate court may reject a district court’s determination of a genuine issue of material fact even if the record does not blatantly contradict that determination.
20-866 Allen v. Wells Fargo & Co. (1) Whether, under Fifth Third Bancorp v Dudenhoeffer, fiduciaries of an employee stock ownership fund are effectively immune from duty-of-prudence liability for the failure to publicly disclose inside information; and (2) whether Dudenhoeffer’s framework extends beyond prudence-based claims and applies to duty-of-loyalty claims against ESOP fiduciaries.
20-857 Miesen v. Munding (1) Whether the plaintiff in a derivative action, brought under diversity jurisdiction, must plead and prove the adequacy of its derivative demand letter as part of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.1’s pleading requirements and whether the court must apply the law of the state of incorporation to determine the letter’s adequacy; and (2) whether a de-novo or an abuse-of-discretion standard applies to the review of dismissals of derivative actions under Rule 23.1.
20-843 New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Corlett Whether the Second Amendment allows the government to prohibit ordinary law-abiding citizens from carrying handguns outside the home for self-defense.
20-836 Broadway v. U.S. (1) Whether courts owe deference to the Sentencing Commission’s commentary when it expands the scope of the Sentencing Guidelines; and (2) whether the rule of lenity and the right to due process preclude deference under Stinson v. United States when commentary to a Sentencing Guideline would increase a sentence.
20-831 Washington v. Domingo-Cornelio Whether Graham v. Florida and Miller v. Alabama require an individual proportionality determination before imposing any sentence on a juvenile offender convicted in adult court.
20-830 Washington v. Ali Whether Graham v. Florida and Miller v. Alabama require an individual proportionality determination before imposing any sentence on a juvenile offender convicted in adult court.
20-828 Federal Bureau of Investigation v. Fazaga Whether Section 1806(f) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 displaces the state-secrets privilege and authorizes a district court to resolve, in camera and ex parte, the merits of a lawsuit challenging the lawfulness of government surveillance by considering the privileged evidence.
20-827 U.S. v. Abu Zubaydah Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit erred when it rejected the United States’ assertion of the state-secrets privilege based on the court’s own assessment of potential harms to the national security, and required discovery to proceed further under 28 U.S.C. 1782(a) against former Central Intelligence Agency contractors on matters concerning alleged clandestine CIA activities.
20-826 Brown v. Davenport Whether a federal habeas court may grant relief based solely on its conclusion that the test from Brecht v. Abrahamson is satisfied, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit held, or whether the court must also find that the state court’s application of Chapman v. California was unreasonable under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1), as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 9th and 10th Circuits have held.
20-825 Brewer v. Hooks (1) Whether probable cause or arguable probable cause exists to seek a search warrant when an officer relies upon an informant who turns himself in, admits commission of multiple including unreported/ unsolved crimes, and whose information is partially corroborated; (2) whether an officer retains qualified immunity when he takes the additional step of consulting with and relying upon the advice of an assistant district attorney that probable cause exists prior to seeking and securing a search warrant; and (3) whether the subject of a knock-and-announce search warrant raising a weapon at officers executing such a warrant breaks the causal connection between the allegedly flawed search warrant and damage claims, including the death of a homeowner shot by officers who warned the subject homeowner to drop his weapon before firing.
20-812 Folajtar v. Barr Whether 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), which permanently prohibits nearly all felons—even those convicted of nonviolent crimes—from possessing firearms for self-defense, violates the Second Amendment, as applied to an individual convicted of willfully making a materially false statement on her tax returns.
20-808 Miles v. California (1) Whether a court reviewing a claim under Batson v. Kentucky may consider reasons distinguishing stricken jurors from those accepted by the prosecutor when the prosecutor did not cite the distinguishing reason in the trial court as a basis for the strike; and (2) whether, for purposes of comparative juror analysis, the jurors being compared must have expressed the same combination of responses in all material respects for the comparison to have significant probative value.
20-805 RollinsNelson LTC Corp. v. U.S., ex rel. Winters Whether the False Claims Act requires pleading and proof of an objectively false statement.
20-804 Houston Community College System v. Wilson Whether the First Amendment restricts the authority of an elected body to issue a censure resolution in response to a member’s speech.
20-796 City of New York v. Department of Justice Whether Congress authorized the Department of Justice to condition funding for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program — which sets aside funds for state and local criminal justice priorities — on acceptance of DOJ’s new requirements that state and local government grant recipients (1) respond to ad hoc requests from federal officials for the release dates of non-citizens in grantees’ custody, (2) provide federal agents with access to grantees’ jails and police stations in order to question suspected non-citizens, and (3) certify compliance with 8 U.S.C. § 1373, which purports to prohibit state and local governments from regulating when their employees may share information with federal officials regarding a person’s citizenship or immigration status.
20-795 New York v. Department of Justice Whether Congress authorized the Department of Justice to condition funding for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program — which sets aside funds for state and local criminal justice priorities — on acceptance of DOJ’s new requirements that state and local government grant recipients (1) respond to ad hoc requests from federal officials for the release dates of non-citizens in grantees’ custody, (2) provide federal agents with access to grantees’ jails and police stations in order to question suspected non-citizens, and (3) certify compliance with 8 U.S.C. § 1373, which purports to prohibit state and local governments from regulating when their employees may share information with federal officials regarding a person’s citizenship or immigration status.
20-794 Servotronics Inc. v. Rolls-Royce PLC Whether the discretion granted to district courts in 28 U.S.C. § 1782(a) to render assistance in gathering evidence for use in “a foreign or international tribunal” encompasses private commercial arbitral tribunals, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 4th and 6th Circuits have held, or excludes such tribunals without expressing an exclusionary intent, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 5th and, in the case below, the 7th Circuit, have held.
20-782 Holloway v. Rosen Whether a lifetime firearms prohibition based on a nonviolent misdemeanor conviction violates the Second Amendment.
20-768 Serrano v. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Whether, when the government seizes a vehicle for civil forfeiture, due process requires a prompt post-seizure hearing to test the legality of the seizure and continued detention of the vehicle pending the final forfeiture trial.
20-753 Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation v. Yakima County, Washington Whether the United States can change the scope of its re-assumption of Pub. L. 83-280 jurisdiction over crimes involving Indians in Indian Country years after the re-assumption became effective under 25 U.S.C. § 1323 without the Yakama Nation’s prior consent required by 25 U.S.C. § 1326.
20-748 PHI Air Medical, LLC v. Texas Mutual Insurance Co. (1) Whether the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 preempts a state workers’ compensation system that limits the prices an air-ambulance company can charge and collect for its air-transport services; and (2) whether the McCarran-Ferguson Act exempts such a system from ADA preemption.
20-746 South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom (1) Whether California Governor Gavin Newsom’s lockdown orders and reopening restrictions under the “Blueprint” framework, placing strict limitations, including closures, on all places of worship in California, violates South Bay’s First Amendment right to free exercise of religion; and (2) whether strict scrutiny is the proper standard of review for challenges to state and county restrictions upon free-exercise-of-religion rights during a pandemic, or whether Jacobson v. Massachusetts imposes extra limitations to the Supreme Court’s established line of free-exercise jurisprudence during a pandemic.
20-733 Rickmon v. U.S. Whether the sound of gunshots creates an emergency so that the “individualized suspicion” required by Terry v. Ohio attaches to anyone near the shots.
20-727 Facebook Inc. v. Davis Whether an internet content provider violates the Wiretap Act when a computer user’s web browser instructs the provider to display content on the webpage the user visits.
20-718 Reyes-Romero v. U.S. Whether, when a district court considers awarding attorney’s fees and costs to a prevailing criminal defendant, the Hyde Amendment inquiry into whether “the position of the United States was vexatious, frivolous, or in bad faith” encompass actions of non-prosecutor government employees underlying the criminal case.
20-701 Calvert v. Texas (1) Whether the Constitution prevents a state from allowing a defendant to represent himself in a capital case when the defendant is mentally competent to waive counsel but is not mentally competent to conduct trial proceedings in his capital trial; (2) whether the Eighth Amendment prohibits the state of Texas from sentencing petitioner James Calvert to death on a finding of future dangerousness based in substantial part on graphic testimony and evidence about an attack on a prison official committed by another inmate in another prison at another time, having no connection to Calvert; and (3) whether the constitutional violation resulting from the trial court’s direction to administer a 50,000- volt electric shock to Calvert during his trial to “enforce decorum” because Calvert failed to stand when responding to a question from the court constitutes structural error.
20-695 Piersing v. Domino’s Pizza Franchising LLC Whether, in the context of a form employment agreement, providing that a particular set of rules will govern arbitration proceedings is, without more, “clear and unmistakable evidence” of the parties’ intent to have the arbitrator decide questions of arbitrability.
20-690 Han v. U.S. Whether a court may consider factors other than the parties’ intent in determining whether a transfer of funds constitutes a non-taxable loan under the Internal Revenue Code.
20-685 Trump v. Sierra Club (1) Whether the Sierra Club has a cognizable cause of action to obtain review of the secretary of defense’s compliance with 10 U.S.C. § 2808 in reprioritizing appropriated but unobligated funds for the military construction projects involving border barriers being authorized; and (2) whether the secretary exceeded his statutory authority under Section 2808 in reprioritizing appropriated funds for the military construction projects following the president’s declaration of a national emergency requiring the use of the armed forces at the southern border.
20-666 Barr v. City and County of San Francisco, California (1) Whether the Department of Justice has statutory authority to impose notice and access conditions on grantees that accept Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant awards, a program that provides millions of dollars in financial assistance to law enforcement; and (2) whether the department may withhold Byrne JAG funds from the city and county of San Francisco, California for noncompliance with 8 U.S.C. 1373, which generally bars state and local governments from restricting the sharing of “information regarding the citizenship or immigration status ... of any individual” with federal immigration authorities.
20-660 Employer Solutions Staffing Group, LLC v. Scalia (1) Whether the Supreme Court’s willfulness standard, which requires a showing that “the employer either knew or showed reckless disregard for the matter of whether its conduct was prohibited by the statute,” may be satisfied merely by a showing that a non-compliant employer was on notice of its general requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act but had no actual knowledge of or reason to believe that it was not complying with any requirement of the FLSA; (2) whether the Employer Solutions Staffing Group was liable for overtime wages when there was no evidence that they knew or should have known that overtime wages were not properly being paid by a low-level employee; and (3) whether the Employer Solutions Staffing Group may seek contribution under the FLSA from other joint-employers for joint and several liability for an overtime wage award.
20-659 Thompson v. Clark (1) Whether the rule that a plaintiff must await favorable termination before bringing a Section 1983 action alleging unreasonable seizure pursuant to legal process requires the plaintiff to show that the criminal proceeding against him has “formally ended in a manner not inconsistent with his innocence,” as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit decided in Laskar v. Hurd, or that the proceeding “ended in a manner that affirmatively indicates his innocence,” as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit decided in Lanning v. City of Glens Falls; and (2) whether, when a Section 1983 plaintiff brings a Fourth Amendment claim for unlawful warrantless entry of his home and the government pursues a justification of exigent circumstances, the government has the burden to prove exigency existed (as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 10th Circuits have held), or whether the plaintiff has to prove its non-existence (as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 7th and 8th Circuits have held).
20-641 LSP Transmission Holdings, LLC v. Sieben Whether a state law that grants an express preference to entities with an existing in-state presence to build facilities serving a distinctly interstate market discriminates against interstate commerce, notwithstanding that a few of the preferred in-state incumbents are headquartered elsewhere.
20-639 Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v. Sisolak (1) Whether Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s favoring of secular over religious gatherings — for example, under Directive 021, casinos, restaurants, indoor amusements parks, bowling alleys, water parks, pools, arcades and more are subject to a 50-percent fire-code-capacity limit, but places of worship are limited to no more than 50 people, whatever their facilities’ size — violates the free exercise clause; and (2) whether the governor’s favoring of secular over religious gatherings violates the free speech and assembly clauses.
20-637 Hemphill v. New York Whether, or under what circumstances, a criminal defendant, whose argumentation or introduction of evidence at trial “opens the door” to the admission of responsive evidence that would otherwise be barred by the rules of evidence, also forfeits his right to exclude evidence otherwise barred by the confrontation clause.
20-634 Robinson v. Webster County, Mississippi Whether a person injured by a private actor can state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against a state or local government actor who created the danger of that injury.
20-622 Amazon.com Inc. v. Rittmann Whether the Federal Arbitration Act’s exemption for classes of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce prevents the act’s application to local transportation workers who, as a class, are not engaged to transport goods or passengers across state or national boundaries.
20-609 Gannett Co. v. Quatrone Whether a plaintiff adequately pleads breach of the duties of prudence and diversification solely by alleging that fiduciaries permitted participants in a defined contribution plan to choose, from an adequately diversified menu of investment options, to invest in an undiversified single-stock fund.
20-605 Wholean v. CSEA SEIU Local 2001 Whether there is a “good faith defense” to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 that shields a defendant from damages liability for depriving citizens of their constitutional rights if the defendant acted under color of a law before it was held unconstitutional.
20-603 Torres v. Texas Department of Public Safety Whether Congress has the power to authorize suits against nonconsenting states pursuant to its constitutional war powers.
20-602 Clifford v. Trump Whether the Texas Citizens’ Participation Act applies in federal-court diversity-jurisdiction cases under Erie R.R. Co. v. Tompkins.
20-601 Cameron v. EMW Women’s Surgical Center, P.S.C. (1) Whether a state attorney general vested with the power to defend state law should be permitted to intervene after a federal court of appeals invalidates a state statute when no other state actor will defend the law; and (2) whether, if so, the Supreme Court should vacate the judgment below and remand for further consideration in light of June Medical Services, L.L.C. v. Russo.
20-579 Tabb v. U.S. (1) Whether courts may defer to Sentencing Guidelines commentary without first determining that the underlying guideline is genuinely ambiguous; and (2) whether the U.S. Sentencing Commission can use commentary to rewrite a guideline that applies to “prohibit[ions]” on the “distribution” of drugs to apply to conspiracies and attempts to distribute drugs.
20-564 Carlisle v. Kentucky Whether the Fourth Amendment permits law enforcement to prolong every traffic stop by performing a criminal history check, or whether the Fourth Amendment requires a case-by-case approach that permits such checks when the government offers some evidence that the measure actually related to officer safety.
20-559 Doe v. U.S. (1) Whether Feres v. United States, which held that the Federal Tort Claims Act broadly precludes claims for injuries “incident to service,” was wrongly decided and should be overruled; and (2) whether, alternatively, Feres should be limited so as not to bar tort claims brought by servicemembers injured by violations of military regulations, during recreational activities or while attending a service academy.
20-546 Michigan v. Mathews Whether Miranda v. Arizona is satisfied when a suspect in custody is advised at the beginning of an interrogation that they have the right to an attorney, but is not explicitly advised that they are entitled to the attorney’s presence before and during interrogation.
20-536 Episcopal Church v. Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth (1) Whether the First Amendment requires courts to enforce express trusts in church governing documents (as some jurisdictions hold, in line with Jones v. Wolf's first safeguard), or whether state law may render such trusts unenforceable (as others hold); (2) whether the First Amendment requires courts to defer to churches on questions of polity (as some jurisdictions hold, in line with Jones’ second safeguard), or whether courts may apply state law to determine the structure of a church (as others hold); and (3) whether the neutral-principles approach may constitutionally be applied — either prospectively or retroactively — to resolve church-property disputes.
20-535 Bates v. U.S. 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.
20-534 All Saints’ Episcopal Church (Fort Worth) v. Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth Whether the Texas Supreme Court’s decision awarding the sanctuary and rectory of the petitioner, All Saints’ Episcopal Church (Fort Worth), to a dissident faction in contravention of the will of petitioner’s parishioners and an express-trust provision is consistent with the free exercise and establishment clauses.
20-507 Mays v. Hines 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.
20-499 Hull v. Rockwell 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.
20-489 Bess v. U.S. (1) Whether 10 U.S.C. § 825, which allows a military commander to hand select members to sit on a general court-martial panel, as applied in Pedro Bess’ case — in which an all-white panel convicted a Black defendant of sexual misconduct against a white woman — violates the Fifth Amendment; and (2) whether the lower court erred in declining to remand Bess' case for additional factfinding.
20-481 GE Capital Retail Bank v. Belton Whether provisions of the Bankruptcy Code providing for a statutorily enforceable discharge of a debtor’s debts impliedly repeal the Federal Arbitration Act.
20-478 CBX Resources, L.L.C. v. ACE American Insurance Co. 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.
20-454 Azar v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore (1) Whether the Department of Health and Human Services' rule, which prohibits Title X projects from providing referrals for abortion as a method of family planning, falls within the agency’s statutory authority; and (2) whether the rule is the product of reasoned decisionmaking.
20-397 Barr v. Portillo Martinez Whether the government must provide the written notice required to trigger the stop-time rule in a single document.
20-317 Chavis v. Delaware Whether the confrontation clause permits DNA evidence obtained as the result of a multi-analyst testing process to be introduced against the defendant at trial through one of the testing analysts who has no personal knowledge of the basis for the out-of-court testimonial statements made by the other nontestifying analysts who participated in the testing.
20-251 Gipson v. Louisiana Whether the Supreme Court’s decision in Ramos v. Louisiana applies to cases on state collateral review, when the state follows the retroactivity framework established in Teague v. Lane.
20-183 Stair v. Jackson (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit departed from the Supreme Court’s decisions in Graham v. Connor and Plumhoff v. Rickard in denying qualified immunity to the petitioner, Billy Stair, based upon the absence of a constitutional violation by assessing the reasonableness of each of three Taser activations over a 19-second period, instead of assessing the reasonableness of Stair’s conduct in light of the totality of the circumstances; and (2) whether the 8th Circuit departed from the Supreme Court’s decision in Kisela v. Hughes and numerous other cases by denying qualified immunity even though two judges concluded the use of force was reasonable, and notwithstanding the absence of clearly established law imposing liability under circumstances closely analogous to those confronting Stair.
20-120 Juarez v. Colorado Whether, when there is no dispute that a guilty plea will trigger mandatory deportation pursuant to federal law, defense counsel must advise a noncitizen-defendant that the plea will result in deportation as a matter of law, or whether it is sufficient for defense counsel to caution that the plea could make the noncitizen-defendant “deportable” or that it will “probably” result in deportation.
20-83 Jones v. Kalbaugh (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit improperly focused on the knowledge and intentions of the suspect, rather than the facts knowable to the officers, in reversing the district court’s grant of qualified immunity in an excessive force case; and (2) whether the 10th Circuit analyzed clearly established law at too high a level of generality by relying on general statements of Fourth Amendment excessive force principles rather than identifying a case in which officers acting under similar circumstances were held to have violated the Fourth Amendment.
19-1194 Kuang v. Department of Defense (1) Whether courts can evade their constitutional and statutory duty to review military decisions under the so-called “Mindes test,” from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit's decision in Mindes v. Seamen, or whether claims seeking injunctive relief against the military are reviewable so long as they do not present a nonjusticiable political question or otherwise fall outside the court’s subject-matter jurisdiction; and (2) whether a Department of Defense policy that requires all legal permanent resident enlistees—but not their U.S.- citizen counterparts—to suffer unjustified delays before beginning their military careers is judicially reviewable.

Calls for the Views of the Solicitor General

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
22O152 Montana and Wyoming v. Washington Whether Washington state’s denial of port access to ship Montana and Wyoming coal to foreign markets violates the commerce clause.
20-402 Richardson v. Omaha School District Whether, for attorneys’ fees actions under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, courts should borrow years-long state statutes of limitations because fees actions are analogous to independent lawsuits separate from the underlying merits of the IDEA administrative proceedings, or, in contrast, courts should borrow far shorter periods designed for judicial review of IDEA administrative merits decisions because fees actions are merely ancillary to the underlying educational dispute.
20-319 Comcast Corp. v. Viamedia Inc. (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit erred in holding that a refusal-to-deal claim under Section 2 of the Sherman Act may proceed despite the presence of valid business justifications for the refusal, in direct conflict with Verizon Communications Inc. v. Law Offices of Curtis V. Trinko and decisions of the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 9th, 10th and 11th Circuits; and (2) whether the 7th Circuit erred in allowing a plaintiff to avoid the limitations on a Section 2 refusal-to-deal claim by reframing it as some other form of anticompetitive conduct, such as tying, in direct conflict with Pacific Bell Telephone Co. v. Linkline Communications Inc. and decisions of the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 4th, 9th and 10th Circuits.
20-219 Cummings v. Premier Rehab Keller, P.L.L.C. Whether the compensatory damages available under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the statutes that incorporate its remedies for victims of discrimination, such as the Rehabilitation Act and the Affordable Care Act, include compensation for emotional distress.
20-28 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP v. Laurent Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit improperly combined parts of two separate remedial sections under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, interpreting Section 502(a)(3) to permit reformation of a plan solely as a preparatory step to ultimate relief under Section 502(a)(1)(B) in the form of money damages.
20-8 Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas v. Robert R. McCormick Foundation (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit correctly held, in conflict with the decisions of four other U.S. courts of appeal and of the Supreme Court, that the presumption against preemption of state law does not apply to creditor-rights claims once federal bankruptcy law has been invoked; (2) whether the 2nd Circuit correctly held that laws allowing creditors to avoid certain fraudulent transfers, which long have existed in every state, are preempted because they are an obstacle to the “purposes and objectives” of 11 U.S.C. § 546(e), notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s unanimous holding in Merit Management Group, LP v. FTI Consulting Inc. that Section 546(e) does not have the purpose that the 2nd Circuit ascribed to it; and (3) whether, notwithstanding the holding in Merit that Section 546(e) does not exempt fraudulent transfers from avoidance merely because a financial institution acted as a conduit, the 2nd Circuit correctly held that Section 546(e) does exempt certain fraudulent transfers from avoidance if executed via a bank as a conduit, on the ground, left open in Merit, that the bank’s customer is itself a “financial institution.”
19-1401 Hughes v. Northwestern University Whether allegations that a defined-contribution retirement plan paid or charged its participants fees that substantially exceeded fees for alternative available investment products or services are sufficient to state a claim against plan fiduciaries for breach of the duty of prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. § 1104(a)(1)(B).
19-1039 PennEast Pipeline Co. v. New Jersey Whether the Natural Gas Act delegates to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission certificate-holders the authority to exercise the federal government’s eminent-domain power to condemn land in which a state claims an interest. CVSG: 12/9/2020.
19-648 CACI Premier Technology Inc. v. Al Shimari Whether an order denying a federal contractor’s claim of derivative sovereign immunity is an immediately appealable final order under the collateral-order doctrine. CVSG: 8/26/2020.
Term Snapshot
At a Glance
Awards