On Monday, September 26, the Justices will return from the Court's summer recess.  At their Conference that day, they will select cases for review from the summer lists.  This is our final installment of "Petitions to watch" for that Conference; the earlier installments are available here, here, here, and here.  The petitions in this installment cover issues such as the Commerce and Supremacy Clauses, the contours of habeas relief, and the "frustration of purpose" theory of preemption.  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.


Farina v. Nokia, Inc.

Docket: 10-1064
Issue(s): (1) Whether a regulation based on authority conferred by a statute that explicitly disclaims any implied preemptive effect can impliedly preempt state law on a "frustration of purpose" theory of preemption; and (2) whether an agency's National Environmental Policy Act regulation, which imposes no substantive requirements, may preempt substantive state health, safety, or consumer-protection laws.

Certiorari stage documents:

CVSG Information:

Cavazos v. Smith

Docket: 10-1115
Issue(s): Did the Ninth Circuit on second remand from this Court exceed its authority under the deferential standard for habeas corpus review in 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) by granting relief for insufficient evidence based on its acceptance of the cause-of-death testimony of defense experts over the contrary opinion testimony of prosecution experts?

Certiorari stage documents:

United States Steel Corp. v. United States

Docket: 10-1433
Issue(s): Whether the Department of Commerce is statutorily required to use zeroing to calculate dumping margins or may instead employ a methodology that negates Congress's expressly enacted remedy for U.S. industries and workers that have been injured by unfairly traded imports.

Certiorari stage documents:

Nucor Corp. v. United States

Docket: 10-1439
Issue(s): Whether the Tariff Act of 1930 – which defines “dumping” as “the sale or likely sale of goods at less than fair value” and “dumping margin” as “the amount by which the normal value exceeds the export price or constructed export price of the subject merchandise” – unambiguously excludes above-fair-value sales ( i.e., those sales that do not constitute “dumping”) from the statutory formula for “weighted average dumping margin.”

Certiorari stage documents:

Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum (Granted )

Note: Goldstein & Russell, P.C. represents Achmed et al. and the Center for Justice and Accountability as amici curiae in support of the petitioners.
Docket: 10-1491
Issue(s): (1) Whether the issue of corporate civil tort liability under the Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1350, is a merits question or instead an issue of subject matter jurisdiction; (2) whether corporations are immune from tort liability for violations of the law of nations such as torture, extrajudicial executions or genocide may instead be sued in the same manner as any other private party defendant under the ATS for such egregious violations; and (3) whether and under what circumstances the Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1350, allows courts to recognize a cause of action for violations of the law of nations occurring within the territory of a sovereign other than the United States.

Certiorari stage documents:

Fisher v. United States Dist. Court for the Northern Dist. of Texas

Docket: 10-1518
Issue(s): Under 18 U.S.C. § 3771(d)(3), a crime victim seeking to enforce a right under the Crime Victims' Rights Act may petition the court of appeals for a writ of mandamus. The court of appeals shall take up and decide such application forthwith. Does this provision entitle crime victims to ordinary appellate review of their claims instead of only limited mandamus review for clear and indisputable error?

Certiorari stage documents:

Holder v. Gutierrez (Granted )

Docket: 10-1542
Issue(s): (1) Whether a parent's years of lawful permanent resident status can be imputed to an alien who resided with that parent as an unemancipated minor, for the purpose of satisfying 8 U.S.C. 1229b(a)(1)'s requirement that the alien seeking cancellation of removal have been an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence for not less than 5 years; and (2) whether a parent's years of residence after lawful admission to the United States can be imputed to an alien who resided with that parent as an unemancipated minor, for the purpose of satisfying 8 U.S.C. 1229b(a)(2)'s requirement that the alien seeking cancellation of removal have resided in the United States continuously for 7 years after having been admitted in any status.

Certiorari stage documents:

Holder v. Sawyers (Granted )

Docket: 10-1543
Issue(s): Whether a parent's years of residence after lawful admission to the United States can be imputed to an alien who resided with that parent as an unemancipated minor, for the purpose of satisfying 8 U.S.C. 1229b(a)(2)'s requirement that the alien seeking cancellation of removal have "resided in the United States continuously for 7 years after having been admitted in any status."

Certiorari stage documents:

Cash v. Maxwell

Docket: 10-1548
Issue(s): (1) Whether, under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, a federal court may grant habeas relief on a claim that the state-court conviction rested on perjured testimony absent proof that the prosecution knew that the challenged testimony was false and when the state post-conviction court deemed the testimony truthful; and (2) whether, under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, a federal court may grant habeas corpus relief on a claim alleging suppression of exculpatory evidence when that evidence was unknown to law enforcement officials working on the case and without considering whether the state court might have rejected this claim.

Certiorari stage documents:

Pacific Merchant Shipping Association v. Goldstene

Docket: 10-1555
Issue(s): (1) Whether the Commerce Clause and the Supremacy Clause prohibit California's extraterritorial exercise of its police powers to require the use of specified low-sulfur fuels on foreign- and U.S.-flagged vessels engaged in foreign and interstate commerce while these ships are on the high seas; and (2) whether, by establishing the measure of California's seaward boundary at three geographical miles distant from its coast line, the Submerged Lands Act preempts California's regulations that require foreign- and U.S.-flagged vessels engaged in international and interstate commerce to use specified low-sulfur fuels while those ships are navigating outside of the state's three-mile seaward territorial boundary so established.

Certiorari stage documents:

CVSG Information:

Blackstone Group, L.P. v. Litwin

Docket: 11-15
Issue(s): Whether, in assessing the materiality of alleged omissions in a registration statement for an initial public offering, the court below erred in (i) considering only whether the alleged omission related to a significant business segment of the issuer's business, ignoring the alleged omission's relationship to the issuer's business as a whole, thereby overriding the requirement of Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. v. Siracusano (2011), that any omissions must “significantly” alter the total mix of investor information; (ii) discarding long-standing judicial and regulatory authority regarding the importance of quantitative analysis in making materiality determinations, including a rule of thumb that omissions affecting amounts less than 5% are likely immaterial; and (iii) impermissibly requiring issuers to flood investors with unnecessary and confusing detail.

Certiorari stage documents:

Alto Eldorado Partnership v. County of Santa Fe

Docket: 11-50
Issue(s): (1) Whether claims for prospective relief under Nollan v. California Coastal Commission, which by definition implicate no compensation issues, fall outside the purview of the state-procedures rule outlined in Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City and immediately ripe in federal court; (2) if not, whether the Court should overrule Williamson County's state-procedures rule on the grounds that the rule effectively bars, from federal court, taking claims brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, in contravention of Congress's intent in enacting § 1983 to provide federal rights claimants with access to federal court; and (3) whether heightened review under Nollan applies to permit conditions that result from legislative enactments and that constitute non-physical-invasions of property.

Certiorari stage documents:

City of San Leandro v. International Church of the Foursquare Gospel

Docket: 11-106
Issue(s): (1) Whether cost and/or inconvenience can be sufficient for a religious landowner to prove that an adverse land use or zoning decision imposes a “substantial burden” under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc(a)(1); (2) whether case-by-case analysis of a land use application constitutes an “individualized assessment” under the Free Exercise Clause and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc(a)(2)(C); and (3) whether neutral, generally applicable planning principles may be a “compelling interest” of local governments under the Free Exercise Clause and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. §2000cc(a)(1)(A).

Certiorari stage documents:

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: Christa Culver, Petitions to watch | Conference of September 26, 2011, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 24, 2011, 8:13 AM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2011/09/petitions-to-watch-conference-of-september-26-2011-3/