At its October 12, 2012 Conference, the Court will consider such issues as abstaining from claims of inadequate funding for counsel, adjudicating claim on merits under AEDPA, deference to investment decisions under ERISA, and disparate impact claims under the Fair Housing Act.

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.

Gray v. Citigroup Inc.

Docket: 11-1531
Issue(s): (1) Whether, under Section 1104(a)(1)(B) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a fiduciary of a plan that invests in qualified employer securities who knows, or should have known, that it is imprudent to invest in the employer’s securities is permitted to take no steps to protect plan participants and beneficiaries unless the employer is in a “dire situation” or near bankruptcy; and (2) whether, under Section 1104(a)(1)(B), a complaint by a plan participant against a fiduciary of such a plan need only plead facts making plausible the conclusion that the fiduciary failed to act with “care, skill, prudence, and diligence,” or whether instead the complaint must plead facts making plausible the conclusion that the fiduciary knew, or should have known, that the employer was in a “dire situation” or near bankruptcy.

Certiorari stage documents:

Ryan v. James

Docket: 12-11
Issue(s): Whether the Ninth Circuit’s panel opinion conflicts with the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) and this Court's decisions in Harrington v. Richter, and Cullen v. Pinholster insofar as it (a) treated AEDPA’s deferential standard as a waivable defense, rather than an inherent restriction on a federal court’s authority, (b) refused to find that the state post-conviction (PCR) court issued a merits ruling on respondent’s ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim, when the state court expressly ruled that none of respondent’s PCR claims were colorable, and (c) considered evidence presented for the first time in federal court to grant habeas relief.

Certiorari stage documents:

E.T. v. Cantil-Sakauye

Docket: 12-56
Issue(s): Whether the abstention doctrine announced in O’Shea v. Littleton requires federal courts to refrain from adjudicating claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 whenever it would “intrude” upon state-court administration in any manner, as the court below held in joining the Second and Sixth Circuits, or whether that doctrine requires abstention only when adjudication requires supervising specific state-court events or displacing their “day-to-day operations,” as the D.C. and First Circuits have held.

Certiorari stage documents:

Arizona v. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (Granted )

Docket: 12-71
Issue(s): (1) Whether the Ninth Circuit erred in creating a new, heightened preemption test under Article I, Section 4, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution (“the Elections Clause”) that is contrary to the Supreme Court’s authority and conflicts with other circuit court decisions; and (2) whether the Ninth Circuit erred in holding that under that test the National Voter Registration Act preempts an Arizona law that requests persons who are registering to vote to show evidence that they are eligible to vote.

Certiorari stage documents:

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: Ben Cheng, Petitions to watch | Conference of October 12, 2012, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 9, 2012, 6:13 PM),