At its March 29, 2013 Conference, the Court will consider petitions seeking review of issues such as airlines’ First Amendment rights in advertising, new ambient air quality standards under the Clean Air Act, the constitutionality of city council district boundaries, and enforcement of judgments against foreign states.

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.  Our policy is to include and disclose all cases in which Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys work for or contribute to this blog in various capacities, represents either a party or an amicus in the case, with the exception of the rare cases in which Goldstein & Russell represents the respondent(s) but does not appear on the briefs in the case.


Issue(s): (1) Whether the Court’s decision in Stewart Organization, Inc. v. Ricoh Corp. changed the standard for enforcement of clauses that designate an alternative federal forum, limiting review of such clauses to a discretionary, balancing-of-conveniences analysis under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a); and (2) whether district courts should allocate the burdens of proof among parties seeking to enforce or to avoid a forum-selection clause.



Issue(s): (1) Whether, when counsel error causes the lapse of plea agreement more favorable to a criminal defendant than the outcome of the subsequent disposition, constitutional prejudice can be shown if the later disposition was nonetheless fitting in light of the defendant's crime and criminal background; and (2) whether, if constitutional prejudice can be shown by the loss of a more favorable plea agreement even if the ultimate decision was commensurate with the defendant's crime and background, the state's interest in punishment that fits the defendant's crime and character is a competing interest that should be taken into account in determining a remedy, pursuant to United States v. Morrison.



Issue(s): Whether post-judgment discovery in aid of enforcing a judgment against a foreign state can be ordered with respect to all assets of a foreign state regardless of their location or use, as held by the Second Circuit, or is limited to assets located in the United States that are potentially subject to execution under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (“FSIA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1602 et seq., as held by the Seventh, Fifth, and Ninth Circuits.



Issue(s): Whether a city violates the “one-person, one-vote” principle of the Fourteenth Amendment when it creates city council districts that, while roughly equal in total population, are grossly malapportioned with regard to eligible voters.



Issue(s): Whether the Environmental Protection Agency may establish a new National Ambient Air Quality Standard under the Clean Air Act based on a purely hypothetical threat to the public health, as the D.C. Circuit held, or whether the agency is instead limited to establishing standards that are necessary to protect the public health from an actual or reasonably anticipated threat of harm.



Issue(s): (1) Whether the Department of Transportation (DOT) violated the First Amendment by mandating “total cost” advertising and restricting airlines’ truthful speech about the large (and ever growing) share of each ticket that consists of government taxes and fees; and (2) whether DOT exceeded its statutory mandate and acted arbitrarily and capriciously by re-regulating—down to the size of typeface and the length of mandatory refunds—an industry that Congress expressly chose to deregulate.



Issue(s): Whether the Ninth Circuit conflicted with the “reasonable likelihood” materiality standards of Napue v. Illinois and Brady v. Maryland by substituting a standard based on “any conceivable, speculative possibility” of a different result.

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: Mary Pat Dwyer, Petitions to watch | Conference of March 29, 2013, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 23, 2013, 4:55 PM),