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Petitions We’re Watching

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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.
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.
20-559 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.
20-804 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.
20-827 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.
20-843 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.
20-866 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.
20-940 Alaska v. Wright Whether, when an offender has fully served the sentence imposed pursuant to a state conviction, a federal habeas court has jurisdiction to consider a 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenge to that conviction merely because it served as a predicate for an independent federal conviction under which the offender is now in custody.
20-6387 Woodard v. U.S. Whether, as many courts have held, allowing a prosecution to continue after lengthy and demonstrably prejudicial delay in filing criminal charges offends due process, even absent prosecutorial intent to gain a tactical advantage or harass, when the prosecution cannot provide an explanation for the delay sufficient to justify the extent of the prejudice suffered by the defendant.
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)
20-1137 California Parents for the Equalization of Educational Materials v. Torlakson Whether the free exercise clause permits the government to single out a religion for disfavored treatment so long as it does not “substantially burden” religious exercise.
20-1130 Ericsson Inc. v. TCL Communication Technology Holdings Ltd. (1) Whether, notwithstanding the ordinary rule that a pretrial denial of a motion for summary judgment is not reviewable on appeal, there is an exception for summary-judgment decisions that turn solely on “legal issues”; and (2) whether an order denying summary judgment can be reviewed following trial, at the discretion of the court of appeals, notwithstanding a party’s failure to seek judgment as a matter of law on those grounds under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50.
20-994 Volkswagen Group of America Inc. v. Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County, Florida Whether the Clean Air Act preempts state and local governments from regulating manufacturers’ post-sale, nationwide updates to vehicle emission systems.
20-953 Ellis v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston What the correct test to apply is in deciding whether an otherwise applicable state law—here, a state law prohibiting discretion-conferring provisions in insurance contracts—can be displaced by an Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 plan’s choice-of-law clause.
20-908 SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC v. M&T Bank (1) Whether the Federal Housing Finance Authority’s structure violates separation of powers and, if so, whether its conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must be set aside; and (2) whether quiet title actions by FHFA, asserting that a state law foreclosure failed to extinguish the agency’s property interests, are contract claims for purposes of 12 U.S.C. § 4617(b)(12).
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.
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.

Featured Petitions

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
22o143 Mississippi v. Tennessee (1) Whether the Court will grant Mississippi leave to file an original action to seek relief from respondents’ use of a pumping operation to take approximately 252 billion gallons of high-quality groundwater; (2) whether Mississippi has sole sovereign authority over and control of groundwater naturally stored within its borders, including in sandstone within Mississippi’s borders; and (3) whether Mississippi is entitled to damages, injunctive, and other equitable relief for the Mississippi intrastate groundwater intentionally and forcibly taken by respondents. CVSG: 5/12/2015.
20A160 Rolls Royce PLC v. Servotronics Whether the Supreme Court should stay an order by the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina authorizing requests by Servotronics, Inc. for U.S. deposition subpoenas to current and former Boeing employees in a foreign arbitration, pending this court’s resolution of Servotronics, Inc. v. Rolls-Royce PLC, 20-794.
20A155 Slatery v. Bristol Regional Women’s Center, P.C. Whether the Supreme Court should stay an injunction issued by a federal district court in Tennessee that struck down a state law instituting a 48-hour waiting period for patients to obtain abortions.
20A150 Texas v. Cook County Whether the Supreme Court should grant Texas and 13 other states' request for leave to intervene and stay of the Nov. 20, 2020, injunction by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois that prevented the Department of Homeland Security from carrying out its proposed rule preventing unauthorized immigrants who are deemed a "public charge" from attaining lawful permanent resident status.
20-1452 Sasso v. Warsaw Orthopedic Inc. Whether this is a case “arising under” federal patent laws under 28 U.S.C. § 1338(a) within the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(1) when cross-respondents chose not to remove an earlier, underlying state court breach-of-contract case and instead litigated for four years in state court and then, on the eve of the state court jury trial after discovery closed, filed this federal declaratory judgment action claiming that inoperative contractual language transformed this breach-of-contract claim into a patent case within the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal courts.
20-1440 Anaya v. Lumpkin Whether the Supreme Court’s decisions clearly establish that a defendant can show he was prejudiced by his counsel’s deficient performance causing him to reject a plea offer when the defendant contends without contradiction by the state that the record reveals no particular facts or intervening circumstances suggesting that the state would have withdrawn, or the trial court would have rejected, the plea.
20-1434 Rutledge v. Little Rock Family Planning Services Whether the 14th Amendment bars states from prohibiting abortions that are sought solely because of a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
20-1432 U.S. v. Maine Community Health Options Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit erred in concluding that Congress intended to afford insurers an implied money-damages remedy as compensation for cost-sharing reduction payments that were not made because Congress declined to appropriate funds to pay them and that could generally be offset under other provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that insurers invoked to obtain a recovery.
20-1431 Brown v. Jones Whether, at the first step in Batson v. Kentucky framework and in the absence of any explanation from the prosecutor, a court may rely on factors apparent in the record to explain a prosecutor’s seemingly discriminatory peremptory strike.
20-1426 Epic Systems Corp. v. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. Whether a state statute that expressly caps punitive damages at two times compensatory damages satisfies the notice requirement of the due process clause such that a punitive damages award that complies with the statute is constitutionally sound under the due process clause.
20-1419 Russell v. New Jersey (1) Whether the Second Amendment protects the right to carry arms outside of the home for self-defense; and (2) whether the government may deny law-abiding citizens their exercise of the right to carry a handgun outside of their homes by conditioning the exercise of the right on showings of need.
20-1410 Ruan v. U.S. Whether a physician alleged to have prescribed controlled substances outside the usual course of professional practice may be convicted of unlawful distribution under 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) without regard to whether, in good faith, he “reasonably believed” or “subjectively intended” that his prescriptions fall within that course of professional practice.
20-1394 PersonalWeb Technologies, LLC v. Patreon Inc. (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit correctly interpreted Kessler v. Eldred to create a freestanding preclusion doctrine that may apply even when claim and issue preclusion do not; and (2) whether the Federal Circuit properly extended its Kessler doctrine to cases in which the prior judgment was a voluntary dismissal.
20-1391 Sportswear Inc. v. Savannah College of Art and Design Inc. (1) Whether the scope of a federally-registered service mark extends to unrelated goods bearing that service mark; and (2) whether the defendant’s copying of a mark, without proof of consumer confusion as to the source of the parties’ goods or services, establishes trademark infringement merely because consumers recognize the mark.
20-1389 Savage v. U.S. Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit properly held — in conflict with decades of federal practice endorsing flexible procedures to assemble a complete record on appeal — that an appellant seeking a complete appellate record must overcome procedural impediments lacking any basis in Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 10’s text: namely, that when an appellant lacks any “means” to “prepare a statement of” untranscribed “proceedings” under Rule 10(c), the district court has no obligation to assist in reconstructing those proceedings unless the appellant first files a declaration “saying he does not remember what happened,” and that when an appellant wishes to review and supplement the record with undocketed trial correspondence in the district court’s possession, he must first show how the correspondence would “give rise to ‘any difference[s]’ about whether the record truly discloses what occurred in the district court.”
20-1381 Fox v. Summers Whether the 14th Amendment due process right to informational privacy protects information of a personal, sexual nature related to one’s victimization from government dissemination absent a compelling state interest, a question as to which the courts of appeals are in conflict.
20-1379 Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority v. Center for Investigative Reporting Whether the Supreme Court’s decision in Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky overruled or abrogated the court’s holding in Lehman v. City of Shaker Heights that transit authorities have the discretion to categorically prohibit political advertisements.
20-1375 Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky Inc. Whether, when a court permits an unemancipated minor to have an abortion, the state may require that her parents be notified before the abortion occurs except where such notice would contravene her best interests.
20-1374 CVS Pharmacy Inc. v. Doe (1) Whether Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 — and by extension Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which incorporates the “enforcement mechanisms” of other federal antidiscrimination statutes — provides a disparate-impact cause of action for plaintiffs alleging disability discrimination; and (2) whether, if Section 504 and the ACA create disparate-impact claims, such claims extend to the facially neutral terms and conditions of health insurance plans.
20-1373 Cole v. Wake County Board of Education Whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination as to all “terms, conditions, or privileges of employment,” or its reach is limited to only discriminatory employer conduct that courts determine have significant detrimental effects on employees.
20-1357 Board of County Commissioners of Weld County, Colorado v. Exby-Stolley Whether a plaintiff asserting a failure-to-accommodate claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 must show that the employer’s failure to make the requested accommodation affected the “terms, conditions, [or] privileges of employment" — that is, whether the employee must show that the failure to accommodate amounted to an adverse employment action.
20-1354 City of Portland, Oregon v. Federal Communications Commission (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit erred in upholding the Federal Communications Commission’s interpretation of “effect of prohibiting” in light of its plain meaning, lack of a limiting standard and National Cable & Telecommunications Association v. Brand X Internet Services; and (2) whether the divided 9th Circuit erred in affirming the FCC’s interpretation of 47 U.S.C. § 253 to mandate access, at cost, to public property for private commercial use.
20-1349 Threatt v. Farrell Whether, and to what degree, a district court must consider counsel’s lodestar in awarding “reasonable attorney’s fees” under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(h).
20-1334 Boardman v. Inslee Whether a law that skews the debate over the value of public-sector unions and undermines public-sector employees’ opt-out rights by giving incumbent unions exclusive access to information necessary to communicate with public-sector employees is consistent with the First Amendment.
20-1313 Shivkov v. Artex Risk Solutions Inc. (1) Whether an agreement that specifies arbitration before the American Arbitration Association as the default dispute-resolution method also must specifically mention the AAA rules to avoid being considered ambiguous about whether the parties intended to apply the AAA rules; and (2) whether the availability of class arbitration is a matter for an arbitrator to decide, or for a court to decide.
20-1312 Becerra v. Empire Health Foundation Whether, for purposes of calculating additional payment for hospitals that serve a “significantly disproportionate number of low-income patients,” the secretary of health and human services has permissibly included in a hospital’s Medicare fraction all of the hospital’s patient days of individuals who satisfy the requirements to be entitled to Medicare Part A benefits, regardless of whether Medicare paid the hospital for those particular days.
20-1306 Walker v. Mississippi (1) Whether the Mississippi Supreme Court failed to adhere to the Supreme Court’s Sixth Amendment jurisprudence requiring counsel in a capital case to conduct a thorough investigation of their client’s background and history, and that purported “tactical” decisions are only reasonable to the extent they are based on such an investigation; and (2) whether Alan Walker was denied the effective assistance of counsel in the preparation and presentation of mitigation at his capital trial.
20-1293 AbbVie Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission Whether the subjective element of the “sham litigation” exception to Noerr-Pennington immunity may be met by an inference from a finding that a challenged lawsuit was objectively baseless, even without evidence that the antitrust defendant actually believed the suit lacked merit or was indifferent to the outcome.
20-1287 Recovery Innovations Inc. v. Rawson Whether through the provision of mental health services, a private, non-profit hospital and private healthcare providers become state actors, subject to claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, when they provide mental health services to a person who was deemed to be “gravely disabled” and to “present[ ] a likelihood of serious harm to others” under the state’s involuntary commitment law.
20-1284 Warsaw Orthopedic Inc. v. Sasso Whether a federal court with exclusive jurisdiction over a claim may abstain in favor of a state court with no jurisdiction over that claim.
20-1279 Castañon v. U.S. Whether the three-judge district court erred by holding that residents of the District of Columbia are not entitled to voting representation in the House of Representatives because they do not live in a “State,” even though (1) Americans living overseas and residents of “federal enclaves” have voting representation in Congress despite not being State residents, (2) Congress has concluded that it may extend voting rights to District residents under the “District Clause” of the Constitution, Article I, Section 17, Clause 8, and (3) the Supreme Court has held that the right to vote is the most fundamental of all rights because it is preservative of all other rights.
20-1263 Gallardo v. Marstiller Whether the federal Medicaid Act provides for a state Medicaid program to recover reimbursement for Medicaid’s payment of a beneficiary’s past medical expenses by taking funds from the portion of the beneficiary’s tort recovery that compensates for future medical expenses.
20-1246 Valentine v. Phillips (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit violated Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 52(a)(6) when it failed to apply the proper, heightened and deferential standard to the district court’s expert witness credibility determination; and (2) whether the 6th Circuit usurped the district court’s expert witness gatekeeping function when it held that the district court should have credited the testimony of Johnny Phillips’s expert — and granted Phillips’s petition — simply because that testimony was not blatantly self-serving or dishonest.
20-1233 Gatewood v. U.S. (1) Whether cause exists to excuse a habeas petitioner’s procedural default when near-unanimous circuit precedent foreclosed the petitioner’s claim; and (2) whether cause exists to excuse a habeas petitioner’s procedural default when the Supreme Court explicitly overrules one of its precedents.
20-1223 Johnson & Johnson v. Ingham (1) Whether a court must assess if consolidating multiple plaintiffs for a single trial violates due process, or whether it can presume that jury instructions always cure both jury confusion and prejudice to the defendant; (2) whether a punitive-damages award violates due process when it far exceeds a substantial compensatory-damages award, and whether the ratio of punitive to compensatory damages for jointly and severally liable defendants is calculated by assuming that each defendant will pay the entire compensatory award; and (3) whether the “arise out of or relate to” requirement for specific personal jurisdiction can be met by merely showing a “link” in the chain of causation, as the Court of Appeals of Missouri held, or whether a heightened showing of relatedness is required, as the Ford Motor Company in Ford Motor Co. v. Montana Eighth Judicial District Court has argued.
20-1210 Seneca County, New York v. Cayuga Indian Nation of New York Whether tribal sovereign immunity bars local tax authorities from collecting lawfully imposed property taxes by foreclosing on real property that a tribe has acquired on the open market.
20-1207 Balbuena v. Cates Whether a district court filing that seeks to amend a habeas petition pending on appeal constitutes a “second or successive” petition under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.
20-1203 Jooce v. Food and Drug Administration (1) Whether a regulation may be ratified if the appointments clause prohibited the purported agent’s exercise of rulemaking authority; and (2) whether, if so, the ratification must comply with the constraints that would normally govern an officer’s rulemaking, such as the Administrative Procedure Act’s “reasoned decision-making” requirement.
20-1200 Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative v. U.S. Whether the United States may invoke a non-statutory mitigation defense to avoid the unambiguous requirement of Section 1402 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that the government “shall make” cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers in set amounts.
20-1199 Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College (1) Whether the Supreme Court should overrule Grutter v. Bollinger and hold that institutions of higher education cannot use race as a factor in admissions; and (2) whether Harvard College is violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act by penalizing Asian-American applicants, engaging in racial balancing, overemphasizing race and rejecting workable race-neutral alternatives.
20-1195 Kansas Natural Resource Coalition v. Department of the Interior (1) Whether a party vindicating a procedural injury lacks standing unless it can establish with certainty that procedural compliance would change the outcome of subsequent agency action; and (2) whether, under the strong presumption favoring judicial review of agency action, agency violations of the Congressional Review Act’s rule-submission requirement are subject to judicial review.
20-1180 Territory of American Samoa v. National Marine Fisheries Service Whether the Deeds of Cession, by which the territory of American Samoa became part of the United States, establish binding and enforceable obligations on the United States and its agencies.
20-1174 Lippard v. Holleman Whether the First Amendment’s religion clauses prohibit courts from hearing defamation claims that arise from ecclesiastical settings, even when the claims can be resolved using neutral principles of law.
20-1163 Gloucester County School Board v. Grimm Whether Title IX or the equal protection clause requires schools to let transgender students use multi-user restrooms designated for the opposite biological sex, even when single-user restrooms are available for all students regardless of gender identity.
20-1162 Maine Community Health Options v. U.S. Whether the government is required to pay insurers the full amount of the cost-sharing reduction payments required by the unambiguous shall-pay language of Section 1402 of the Affordable Care Act.
20-1158 North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention Inc. v. McRaney (1) Whether a secular court can, consistent with the First Amendment’s religion clauses, adjudicate a minister’s employment-related state-law tort claims against a religious organization using neutral principles of tort law; and (2) whether the First Amendment precludes the adjudication of a minister’s employment-related state-law tort claims only when brought against the legal entity that was the minister’s employer.
20-1148 Sellers v. McDonough Whether, when a veteran has submitted an application for disability benefits, the veteran’s claim encompasses all reasonably identifiable conditions within the veteran’s service records.
20-1143 Badgerow v. Walters Whether federal courts have subject-matter jurisdiction to confirm or vacate an arbitration award under Sections 9 and 10 of the Federal Arbitration Act when the only basis for jurisdiction is that the underlying dispute involved a federal question.
20-1141 Doe Company v. U.S. (1) Whether an appealing party’s substantial interest in a disclosure order directing a disinterested third party to produce documents provides appellate jurisdiction under Perlman v. United States, when that interest will be lost absent immediate appellate review; and (2) whether a federal court lacks specific personal jurisdiction to enforce a subpoena that is directed to a foreign recipient and demands the production of documents that are unrelated to the recipient’s contacts with the United States.
20-1129 Flynn v. U.S. (1) Whether the due process clause of the United States Constitution, as discussed in McCarthy v. United States and more recent decisions of the Supreme Court, requires discussion in open court of the elements of an 18 U.S.C. § 371 conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (Klein Conspiracy) offense to advise the defendant of the nature of the charges against him before a guilty plea is accepted; (2) whether the requirement for a nexus between a particular administrative proceeding and a taxpayer’s conduct is necessary to save the constitutionality of a conviction under an 18 U.S.C. § 371 conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (Klein Conspiracy) after the Supreme Court’s decision in Marinello v. United States; and (3) whether a criminal defendant is entitled to a jury trial to determine the amount of restitution under either the Sixth or Seventh Amendments to the United States Constitution.
20-1123 Hamilton v. Speight (1) Whether the First Amendment right to free speech protects using a person’s actual likeness without permission when weighed against that person’s property, privacy and dignity rights against unauthorized use of his likeness; and (2) whether the First Amendment right to free speech protects a video game maker’s unauthorized use of a person’s face and voice in a game.
20-1113 American Hospital Association v. Cochran Whether deference under Chevron U.S.A. v. Natural Resources Defense Council applies to a statutory interpretation question that determines both the lawfulness of agency action and the court’s jurisdiction.
20-1106 Doe v. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Inc. (1) Whether, on de novo consideration of a benefits claim under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, summary judgment must be denied if there is a genuine dispute of material fact; and (2) whether, on de novo consideration of an ERISA benefits claim and absent a challenge to the plan’s procedures, a district court has discretion to consider evidence that was not part of the record before the plan administrator.
20-1095 Haws v. Idaho Whether a criminal defendant’s purported waiver of the right to appeal in a plea agreement is knowing, intelligent and voluntary—as required by the due process clauses of the Fifth and 14th Amendments—when the trial court incorrectly informs the defendant, during the colloquy in which the court accepts the defendant’s guilty plea, that the defendant has reserved the right to appeal.
20-1093 Just Energy Marketing Corp. v. Hurt Whether, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit held, Just Energy Marketing Corp.'s door-to-door solicitors are exempt “outside salesmen” under the Fair Labor Standards Act or, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit held, the door-to-door solicitors are not exempt “outside salesmen” under the FLSA because the sales agreements remain subject to regulatory checks and Just Energy Marketing Corp.'s ultimate approval.
20-1092 Jones v. U.S. Whether 18 U.S.C. § 514(a) — which prohibits the use of “any false or fictitious instrument, document, or other item appearing, representing, purporting, or contriving through scheme or artifice, to be an actual [government] security or other financial instrument” — prohibits only the use of nonexistent types of documents and instruments (as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 5th, 6th, 8th and 9th Circuits have held), or whether it also covers the use of fake versions of actual, existing types of documents and instruments (as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 11th and, in this case, 2nd Circuit have held).
20-1088 Carson v. Makin Whether a state violates the religion clauses or equal protection clause of the United States Constitution by prohibiting students participating in an otherwise generally available student-aid program from choosing to use their aid to attend schools that provide religious, or “sectarian,” instruction.
20-1084 Dunn v. Reeves Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit violated 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) by readily attributing error to the state court in violation of Woodford v. Visciotti.
20-1057 Oracle America Inc. v. U.S. (1) Whether a bid protest that establishes a violation of federal law may be denied for “harmless error” based on a rationale not present in the administrative record; and (2) whether, in resolving a bid protest that establishes a violation of the criminal conflict-of-interest statute, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit can enforce the contract based on deference to an agency’s assessment that the criminal violation did not taint the procurement.
20-1056 Wolfe v. Virginia Whether a state court can avoid the federal constitutional issues raised by a vindictive prosecution claim, which challenges the state’s constitutional authority to convict and impose sentence, by applying a forfeiture rule that itself does not comply with constitutional due process.
20-1044 Saul v. Ramsey Whether a claimant seeking disability benefits under the Social Security Act forfeits an appointments clause challenge to the appointment of an administrative law judge by failing to present that challenge during administrative proceedings.
20-1043 U.S. v. Cano Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit erred in concluding that the scope of a search of an electronic device under the border-search exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement is limited solely to digital contraband on the device itself, and cannot include evidence of physical smuggling or other border-related crimes.
20-1029 City of Austin, Texas v. Reagan National Advertising of Texas Inc. Whether the Austin city code’s distinction between on-premise signs, which may be digitized, and off-premise signs, which may not, is a facially unconstitutional content-based regulation under Reed v. Town of Gilbert.
20-1026 Eagle Trust Fund v. U.S. Postal Service (1) Whether the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 impliedly bars non-Administrative Procedure Act review, including claims of arbitrary-and-capricious conduct or failure to follow the U.S. Postal Service’s own rules; and (2) whether the PRA violates Article III as applied to bar judicial review of USPS adjudications.
20-1019 Thompson v. Marietta Education Association (1) Whether it violates the First Amendment to designate a labor union to represent and speak for public-sector employees who object to its advocacy on their behalf; and (2) whether Minnesota State Board for Community Colleges v. Knight, which upheld a Minnesota restriction on participation in "meet and confer" sessions to the faculty’s exclusive representative, should be overruled.
20-1010 Rranxburgaj v. Mayorkas Whether legal determinations antecedent to agencies' discretionary decisions to commence proceedings, adjudicate cases or execute removal orders "arise from" these decisions for purposes of 8 U.S.C. § 1252(g), which provides that "no court shall have jurisdiction to hear any cause or claim by or on behalf of any alien arising from the decision or action by the U.S. attorney general to commence proceedings, adjudicate cases, or execute removal orders against any alien under this chapter."
20-1009 Shinn v. Ramirez Whether application of the equitable rule the Supreme Court announced in Martinez v. Ryan renders the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which precludes a federal court from considering evidence outside the state-court record when reviewing the merits of a claim for habeas relief if a prisoner or his attorney has failed to diligently develop the claim’s factual basis in state court, inapplicable to a federal court’s merits review of a claim for habeas relief.
20-1006 City of Hayward, California v. Stoddard-Nunez (1) Whether an accelerating fleeing driver’s sudden turn deprives a threatened shooting officer of qualified immunity; and (2) whether an unintended victim-passenger of a fleeing vehicle is “seized” for purposes of the Fourth Amendment.
20-1004 Collier v. Dallas County Hospital District (1) Whether an employee’s exposure to the N-word in the workplace is severe enough to send his Title VII hostile-work-environment claim to a trier of fact; and (2) whether and in what circumstances racial epithets in the workplace are “extremely serious” incidents sufficient to create a hostile work environment under Title VII, rather than nonactionable “mere utterances.”
20-1000 Dominguez v. U.S. Whether attempted robbery under the Hobbs Act qualifies as a “crime of violence,” meaning that it “has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another."
20-951 Stewart v. City of Euclid, Ohio Whether, when a municipal employee has violated the Constitution, a plaintiff must point to “clearly established law” (such as would overcome a defense of qualified immunity by an individual officer) in order to prove deliberate indifference for municipal liability purposes.
20-937 Andrews v. New Jersey Whether the self-incrimination clause of the Fifth Amendment protects an individual from being compelled to recall and truthfully disclose a memorized passcode, when communicating the passcode may lead to the discovery of incriminating evidence to be used against him in a criminal prosecution.
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.
20-923 Garland v. Acosta-Pena Whether the government must provide written notice under 8 U.S.C. § 1229(a)(1), which is required to trigger the stop-time rule, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(d)(1)(A), in a single document.
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.
20-905 Independent School District No. 283 v. E.M.D.H. ex rel. L.H. and S.D. Whether the continuing-violation doctrine applies to the two-year statutory time limit to file an administrative complaint under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
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.
20-891 American Axle & Manufacturing Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC (1) What standard determines whether a patent claim is “directed to” a patent-ineligible concept under step 1 of the Supreme Court’s two-step framework for determining whether an invention is eligible for patenting under 35 U.S.C. § 101; and (2) whether patent eligibility (at each step of the Supreme Court’s two-step framework) is a question of law for the court based on the scope of the claims or a question of fact for the jury based on the state of art at the time of the patent.
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.
20-861 Fry v. Rand Construction Corp. (1) Whether the lower court erred in adopting what is, in essence, a “sole cause” standard for a “but-for” cause, in direct conflict with the Supreme Court’s holdings in Burrage v. United States and Bostock v. Clayton County; and (2) whether the correct causation standard for petitioner Arlene Fry's Family and Medical Leave Act claim is but-for, motivating factor or negative factor.
20-860 Gilbertson v. U.S. Whether the Sixth Amendment prohibits a court from imposing criminal restitution on a defendant based on facts not found by the jury beyond a reasonable doubt.
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.
20-718 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.
20-685 Biden 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.
20-554 Smith v. McKinney Whether a court determining if a prisoner has suffered an “atypical and significant” hardship must consider factors such as the duration of and justification for the particular conditions imposed (as several courts of appeals have held), or whether it can confine its analysis to a comparison of the conditions of other prison populations (as the court below held, joining several other courts of appeals).
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.
20-287 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.
20-257 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.

Calls for the Views of the Solicitor General

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.
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.
20-1034 Golan v. Saada Whether, upon finding that return to the country of habitual residence places a child at grave risk, a district court is required to consider ameliorative measures that would facilitate the return of the child notwithstanding the grave risk finding.
20-772 Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor v. Murphy Whether, under the doctrine of Ex parte Young, an interstate compact agency may sue a state official to prevent that official from implementing a state law that would be preempted under a congressionally approved interstate compact.
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.
20-603 Torres v. Texas Department of Public Safety Whether Congress has the power to authorize suits against nonconsenting states pursuant to its constitutional war powers.
20-493 Ysleta del Sur Pueblo v. Texas Whether the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and Alabama-Coushatta Indian Tribes of Texas Restoration Act provides the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo with sovereign authority to regulate non-prohibited gaming activities on its lands (including bingo), as set forth in the plain language of Section 107(b), the act’s legislative history and the Supreme Court’s holding in California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, or whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit’s decision affirming Ysleta del Sur Pueblo v. Texas (Ysleta I) correctly subjects the pueblo to all Texas gaming regulations.
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.
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).
19-648 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.