Petitions to watch | Conference of May 16, 2013
At its May 16, 2013 Conference, the Court will consider petitions seeking review of issues such as the legality of Florida’s capital sentencing regime, the burden of proof for declaratory judgments in patent infringement cases, standing requirements under the Securities Exchange Act, and a grant of habeas relief for a capital defendant.
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): Whether Hildwin v. Florida, which upheld Florida's capital sentencing regime, remains good law after Ring v. Arizona, which held that “[c]apital defendants, no less than noncapital defendants . . . are entitled to a jury determination of any fact on which the legislature conditions an increase in their maximum punishment.”
Issue(s): Whether, in a declaratory judgment action brought by a licensee under MedImmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc., the licensee has the burden to prove that its products do not infringe the patent, or whether (as is the case in all other patent litigation, including other declaratory judgment actions), the patentee must prove infringement.
Issue(s): (1) Whether the Second Circuit erred by holding that respondents had Article III, § 2 standing to prosecute this action in federal court under § 16(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. § 78p(b), in the absence of any allegation that petitioner’s statutory violation injured any respondent; and (2) whether the Second Circuit erred by holding that § 16(b) creates a “fiduciary duty,” (found nowhere in the statute) which is owed by every 10% stockholder of a public company and whose breach is always an “injury-in-fact” to the company.
Issue(s): (1) Whether the Sixth Circuit violated 28 U.S.C. 2254(d)(1) by granting habeas relief on the trial court's failure to provide a no adverse inference instruction even though the Supreme Court has not "clearly established" that such an instruction is required in a capital penalty phase when a non-testifying defendant has pled guilty to the crimes and aggravating circumstances; and (2) whether the Sixth Circuit violated the harmless error standard in Brecht v. Abrahamson in ruling that the absence of a no adverse interference instruction was not harmless in spite of overwhelming evidence of guilt and in the face of a guilty pleas to the crimes and aggravators.
Issue(s): Whether, when a custodial suspect upon Miranda advice literally states that he chooses to remain silent, “clearly established Federal law” both (1) prohibits a state court from considering objective circumstances suggesting that the suspect did not intend to invoke his right; and (2) precludes the police from briefly asking the suspect to confirm his intent, so long as they commence any interrogation only after the suspect then explicitly agrees to talk.
Issue(s): (1) Whether the Establishment Clause prohibits the government from conducting public functions such as high school graduation exercises in a church building, where the function has no religious content and the government selected the venue for reasons of secular convenience; (2) whether the government “coerces” religious activity in violation of Lee v. Weisman and Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe where there is no pressure to engage in a religious practice or activity, but merely exposure to religious symbols; and (3) whether the government “endorses” religion when it engages in a religion-neutral action that incidentally exposes citizens to a private religious message.
Issue(s): Whether the court of appeals erred in holding that a legislative prayer practice violates the Establishment Clause notwithstanding the absence of discrimination in the selection of prayer-givers or forbidden exploitation of the prayer opportunity.
Issue(s): Whether the Ninth Circuit exceeded its authority under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1), by granting habeas relief on the ground that the Nevada Supreme Court unreasonably applied “clearly established Federal law, as determined by” this Court when it held that respondent’s right to present a defense was not violated by the exclusion of extrinsic evidence through which he sought to impeach a prosecution witness on a collateral matter.
Issue(s): Whether an employee of a privately held contractor or subcontractor of a public company is protected from retaliation by Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1514A.
Recommended Citation: Mary Pat Dwyer, Petitions to watch | Conference of May 16, 2013, SCOTUSblog (May. 13, 2013, 9:48 PM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2013/05/petitions-to-watch-conference-of-may-16-2013/