The Court is currently in its summer recess.  No oral arguments are scheduled until October, and no Conferences are scheduled until Monday, September 26, when the Justices will be formally back at work.  At that Conference, they will select cases for review from the summer lists.  Because our list of "Petitions to watch" for that Conference will be quite large, we will feature the petitions in installments, as they are distributed for the Court's review.  This set of petitions covers issues such as whether Internet-based music services “perform a work ‘publicly'” for purposes of the Copyright Act, whether corporations may be sued for torture and extrajudicial killings, and whether the Second Amendment protects the right to carry a handgun outside the home without a carry permit.  These are petitions raising issues that Tom has determined to have a reasonable chance of being granted, although we post them here without consideration of whether they present appropriate vehicles in which to decide those issues.

Magner v. Gallagher (Granted )

Note: Goldstein & Russell, P.C. serves as counsel to the respondents in this case.
Docket: 10-1032
Issue(s): (1) Whether disparate impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act; and, if so (2) what test should be used to analyze them.

Certiorari stage documents:

Williams v. Maryland

Docket: 10-1207
Issue(s): Whether the right to carry or transport a registered handgun outside the home without a carry permit is protected by the Second Amendment.

Certiorari stage documents:

Roth v. United States

Docket: 10-1220
Issue(s): Whether a “willful” violation of the complex regulatory provisions of the Arms Export Control Act, 22 U.S.C. § 2778, may be established by proof that a defendant intended to violate any law whatsoever.

Certiorari stage documents:

Conway v. Langston

Docket: 10-1244
Issue(s): Whether a court of appeals violates the sufficiency-of-the-evidence test laid out in Jackson v. Virginia (1979) when it judges the sufficiency of the evidence by reference to the arguments made in the prosecutor's summation, rather than in light of the evidence presented at trial; and 2) whether the decision below failed to accord the proper deference mandated by 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1) to a state appellate court which held that the evidence was sufficient.

Certiorari stage documents:

Utah Highway Patrol Ass’n v. American Atheists

Docket: 10-1276
Issue(s): (1) Which Establishment Clause test should be applied when analyzing passive public displays; (2) does the Establishment Clause forbid roadside memorial crosses marking the site of death for state highway troopers killed in the line of duty; and (3) is a collection of memorials owned by a private organization, disclaimed by the state, and located on both private and public property properly classified as government speech?

Certiorari stage documents:

Davenport v. American Atheists, Inc.

Docket: 10-1297
Issue(s): (1) What is the appropriate test for evaluating whether a passive display with religious imagery violates the Establishment Clause; (2) whether this Court should set aside the endorsement test in favor of the coercion test; and (3) whether a memorial cross placed on state land by a private organization to commemorate fallen state troopers is an unconstitutional establishment of religion.

Certiorari stage documents:

BDO Seidman, LLP v. Khan

Docket: 10-1331
Issue(s): (1) Whether, on a motion to compel arbitration, the Prima Paint doctrine of “separability” should be extended to gateway challenges to arbitrability on the basis of the scope, as opposed to the validity, of an arbitration clause; and (2) whether, on a motion to compel arbitration, a court, in classifying the general scope of an arbitration clause, is restricted to the two categories of broad and narrow.

Certiorari stage documents:

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers v. United States

Docket: 10-1337
Issue(s): Does an Internet-based music service “perform a work ‘publicly’” for purposes of the Copyright Act when it transmits a performance of a copyrighted musical work to the public by means of a digital download?

Certiorari stage documents:

Lockwood v. Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP

Docket: 10-1339
Issue(s): Whether under the implied preemption principles in Buckman Co. v. Plaintiffs' Legal Committee (2001), federal patent law bars an aggrieved patent owner-plaintiff from asserting a state law claim seeking relief for harm to patent property rights caused by a private party maliciously initiating a sham administrative patent reexamination proceeding before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, where “fraud on the agency” is not an element of the claim, and where the agency itself cannot remedy the harm addressed by state law.

Certiorari stage documents:

Fast Break Foods LLC v. Saudi Arabian Oil Co.

Docket: 10-1393
Issue(s): (1) Whether the political question doctrine deprives the federal courts of jurisdiction to adjudicate a Sherman Act and Clayton Act damage case against both private and state-owned businesses operating in the United States; and (2) whether the act of state doctrine bars antitrust claims against defendants whose conduct was commercial, and where it came to fruition and had its effect in the United States.

Certiorari stage documents:

United States v. State of New York

Docket: 10-1404
Issue(s): Whether the United States may be barred from enforcing the Nonintercourse Act against a state that repeatedly purchased and resold (at a substantial profit) Indian lands in violation of the Act between 1795 and 1846, based on the passage of time and the transfer of the unlawfully obtained Indian lands into the hands of third parties, when the United States seeks monetary relief only against the state.

Certiorari stage documents:

Doe v. Todd County School Dist.

Docket: 10-1411
Issue(s): (1) Whether, for purposes of determining whether formal process is due a student who seeks to appeal a disciplinary suspension, a disciplinary suspension of a student with a disability ends when it becomes a change of educational placement under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA); and (2) whether IDEA administrative procedures provide a suitable remedy for a disabled student's claim that school administrators violated his constitutional due process rights by suspending him from school without formal due process.

Certiorari stage documents:

Fein, Such, Kahn and Shepard, PC v. Allen

Docket: 10-1417
Issue(s): Is a communication from a debt collector to a debtor's attorney actionable under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq.?

Certiorari stage documents:

CVSG Information:

Oneida Nation of New York v. County of Oneida, New York

Docket: 10-1420
Issue(s): (1) Whether the court of appeals contravened this Court's decisions in Oneida Indian Nation of New York v. County of Oneida and City of Sherrill v. Oneida Indian Nation by ruling that “equitable considerations” rendered petitioners' claims for money damages for the dispossession of their tribal lands in violation of federal law void ab initio; and (2) whether the court of appeals impermissibly encroached on the legislative power of Congress by relying on “equitable considerations” to bar petitioners' claims as untimely, even though they were brought within the statute of limitations fixed by Congress for the precise tribal land claims at issue.

Certiorari stage documents:

Vernor v. Autodesk, Inc.

Docket: 10-1421
Issue(s): Whether the owner of a copyright in a work, by granting a limited license, can withhold ownership of particular copies of that work and thus deprive the public of (1) the right to “sell or otherwise dispose” of those copies under § 109(a) of the Copyright Act and (2) as to computer programs, the right to make additional copies that are essential steps in the program's use under § 117(a) of the Copyright Act.

Certiorari stage documents:

Eist v. Maryland State Bd. of Physicians

Docket: 10-1425
Issue(s): (1) Whether a state may restrict a patient's federal constitutional right to privacy by compelling a physician to disclose confidential patient records without notice to and authorization by the patient and in conflict with the physician's ethical obligations; (2) whether a state agency may simultaneously serve as investigator, prosecutor and adjudicator with respect to a licensee under its jurisdiction without amending the state's constitution which explicitly separates legislative, executive and judicial powers; and (3) whether a physician may be disciplined by a state's medical licensing board if: (a) the relevant statutory language - “fails to cooperate with a lawful investigation” - is unconstitutionally vague; (b) the board never notified the patients it was seeking their confidential medical records; or (c) the board's simultaneous roles as investigator, prosecutor and adjudicator deprive petitioner of his right to due process.

Certiorari stage documents:

AmeriCredit Financial Services, Inc. v. Penrod

Docket: 10-1443
Issue(s): Whether Section 1325(a)(*) of the Bankruptcy Code prohibits the bifurcation of secured indebtedness when the debt arises from a transaction in which a car dealer extends financing to a purchaser, and that financing includes a charge for the dealer’s discharge of the purchaser’s debt on a trade-in vehicle.

Certiorari stage documents:

Mylan Laboratories, Inc. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Docket: 10-1500
Issue(s): (1) May diversity jurisdiction be created retroactively after a trial when the plaintiffs’ citizenship was never pleaded or proven? (2) Whether the exception for a "jurisdictional spoiler" recognized in Newman-Green, Inc. v. Alfonzo-Larrain, permits a court to sever numerous nondiverse parties who are also real parties in interest .

Certiorari stage documents:

Rezner v. Unicredit Bank AG

Docket: 10-1503
Issue(s): Whether an individual plaintiff, who paid money to defendants in reliance on mail and wire fraud directed to him, lacks standing to bring a civil RICO claim because the racketeering conduct was in furtherance of a scheme intended to defraud the government.

Certiorari stage documents:

DeWeese v. American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation, Inc.

Docket: 10-1512
Issue(s): (1) Whether an organization has standing under Article III to bring an Establishment Clause challenge based on an “injury” allegedly sustained by one of its members; (2) whether petitioner’s purported religious purpose behind a previous courtroom display renders any proffered secular purpose behind a new display a sham; and (3) whether petitioner's jurisprudential commentary was an impermissible endorsement of religion.

Certiorari stage documents:

Carder v. Continental Airlines, Inc.

Docket: 10-1546
Issue(s): Whether the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”) provide servicemembers a cause of action when their civilian workplace is sufficiently poisoned with harassment based upon military status so as to alter conditions of their employment.

Certiorari stage documents:

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: Christa Culver, Petitions to watch | Conference of September 26, 2011, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 19, 2011, 1:10 AM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2011/08/petitions-to-watch-conference-of-september-26-2011/