At its April 20, 2012 Conference, the Court will consider such issues as the weight accorded to an arbitration decision under Title VII, the standing of members of a class action, a public employee’s First Amendment right of association, and the standard of appellate review for Brady decisions.  This edition of “Petitions to watch” features 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.  The full list of our “Petitions to watch” for the April 13 and April 20 Conferences can be found here.  Any cases that are relisted following the April 13 Conference will be added to this list once that information is available.

Attard v. City of New York

Docket: 11-1055
Issue(s): Does the Second Circuit’s requirement of new, “strong evidence” that an arbitral decision is factually wrong comport with Alexander v. Gardner-Denver Co., which leaves the weight accorded to an arbitral decision under Title VII to the discretion of the trial court, or has the Tenth Circuit correctly held that such a requirement disregards Gardner-Denver?

Certiorari stage documents:

Ticketmaster v. Stearns

Docket: 11-983
Issue(s): (1) Whether, in federal court, all members of a putative class – not just the named plaintiff – must have Article III standing to sue; and (2) whether the Ninth Circuit erred in choosing to follow a state’s rule that only a named plaintiff need have standing to sue, regardless of the lack of standing of putative class members, thereby disregarding the requirements of Article III standing.

Certiorari stage documents:

Merrifield v. County Commissioners for Santa Fe

Docket: 11-881
Issue(s): Whether a public employee discharged in retaliation for consulting with a private attorney may establish a violation of his constitutional right of association only if his association with the attorney involved a matter of public concern.

Certiorari stage documents:

Brown v. United States

Docket: 11-783
Issue(s): (1) Whether, in reviewing a Brady v. Maryland ruling, the Fifth Circuit erred in applying the highly deferential “clear error” standard of review instead of de novo, thereby exacerbating confusion, widening a circuit split, and conflicting with this Court's approach; (2) whether the Fifth Circuit recast and misapplied this Court’s definition of materiality in Kyles v Whitley by (i) failing to account for the cumulative impact of multiple failures to produce exculpatory evidence or (ii) postulating a theory of nonmateriality that required abandonment of the government's entire theory of the case; and (3) whether the suppressed exculpatory evidence was material as matter of law under Brady and Kyles because prosecutors (i) impaired the adversary process by providing incomplete and misleading summaries, causing the defense to assume that the concealed exculpatory evidence did not exist or (ii) capitalized on their concealment by repeatedly eliciting evidence and making representations to the jury that the suppressed evidence explicitly contradicted.

Certiorari stage documents:

Sid-Mar’s Restaurant & Lounge, Inc. v. United States

Docket: 11-652
Issue(s): Whether an exception to the prior exclusive jurisdiction rule exists where the United States brings a later-filed federal action seeking title to property already within the jurisdiction of a state court.

Certiorari stage documents:


The following petition has been re-listed for the conference of April 20.  If any other paid petitions are redistributed for this conference, we will add them below as soon as their redistribution is noted on the docket.

Harmon v. Kimmel

Docket: 11-496
Issue(s): (1) Whether a permanent scheme of possessory rent regulation with no foreseeable end exceeds the limits of the noncompensable exercise of the police power established in Block v. Hirsh, Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon, and other decisions of this Court, which upheld the constitutionality of rent regulation and tenant possession without an owner’s consent, only as a temporary measure to address an “emergency” of limited duration; (2) whether the “explicit textual ... constitutional protection” of the Fifth Amendment against government takings bars a substantive due process claim that possessory rent regulation is arbitrary in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment; (3) whether rent regulation that “compel[s] a landowner over objection to rent his property or to refrain in perpetuity from terminating a tenancy” effects a taking proscribed by the Fifth Amendment as posited in Yee v. City of Escondido; and (4) whether, prior to enactment of possessory rent regulation, the Due Process Clause requires that personal notice or notice by certified mail and a meaningful opportunity to be heard be provided to an owner whose property selectively is made subject to such rent regulation.

Certiorari stage documents:

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: Matthew Bush, Petitions to watch | Conference of April 20, 2012, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 13, 2012, 10:55 PM),