SCOTUSblog's "Petitions to Watch"
For the conference of October 5, 2007

Tom Goldstein has deemed the following petitions for certiorari on the Supreme Court's 'paid' docket to have a reasonable chance of being granted.
The highlighted number in the docket column links to the petition page on the Court's web site, which includes the lawyers involved in the case. The link in the issue column provides a PDF of the opinion below. The links in the filings column provide PDFs of the petitions, briefs in opposition, replies and amicus filings.

Case Name Issue Filings
Hudson v. Spisak
Whether the Eighth Amendment prohibits instructions to a capital jury that its sentencing verdict must be unanimous, unless the jurors are also instructed that they need not unanimously agree on the existence of any one particular mitigating in weighing whether to impose a death sentence. (CA6)
Petition, BIO, reply
El-Masri v. United States
Whether the petitioner's complaint - alleging abduction, detention and coercive interrogation by U.S. agents - was properly dismissed at the pleadings stage under the state secrets privilege. (CA4)
Petition, petition supplement, BIO, NYC Bar, Const. Project, Council of Europe
Johnson v. United States
Whether the stand alone concurrence of Justice Kennedy or the narrower opinion
of the four Justice plurality is the controlling opinion in Rapanos v. United States, 126 S. Ct. 2208 (2006). (CA1)
Petition, BIO, MSLF
Department of the Army v. Kirkendall
Whether the 15-day statutory time limit for filing an appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board from a decision of the Secretary of Labor denying a complaint under the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998, 5 U.S.C. 3330a(d), is subject to equitable tolling. (CAFC)
Petition, BIO
Coloian v. United States
Whether a federal district court has inherent or ancillary jurisdiction to expunge judicial criminal records based on equitable considerations. (CA1)
Petition, BIO
Middleton v. Trustees of the Southern California Bakery Drivers Security Fund Whether, under ERISA, plan assets used to purchase a product or service from an independent third party may retain their characterization as plan assets after being paid to that third party pursuant to a contract, and whether contributions made to a multi-employer employee welfare plan on behalf of a particular group of plan participants may not be used for the benefit of other plan participants. (CA9)
Petition, BIO
Microsoft v. Odom
Whether an association-in-fact “enterprise” under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-1968, must be an organization with an ascertainable structure separate and apart from that inherent in the alleged pattern of racketeering activity, and whether a group of corporations can constitute an association-in-fact RICO enterprise. (CA9)
Petition, BIO, Chamber
Memorial Day Weekend Salute to Veterans Corporation v. Wickersham
Whether non-governmental organizers of public events and festivals - here, a Memorial Day air show - may qualify as “state actors” under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (CA8)
Petition, BIO, ICAS