Issue: (1) For purposes of federal habeas review, has the U.S. Supreme Court clearly established the rule that due process prohibits a state court judge from taking into account his own religious beliefs in sentencing a defendant? (2) Did the state court judge violate petitioners’ due process rights when the judge told petitioners, following their guilty plea to the robbery at a church, that they had stolen God’s money intended for the establishment of a religious kingdom on earth and then sentenced each of them to 53 to 71 years? (3) Did the sentences of petitioners, who were adolescents without any serious prior record and did not harm anyone in the robbery, violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment?
On Monday, the justices met for their September 26 conference. They issued orders from this conference on Thursday. The court granted certiorari in nine cases, consolidating two. The October sitting will begin on October 3; the argument calendar for that sitting is available on the court's website.
Bank of America Corp. v. City of Miami (1) Whether, by limiting suit to “aggrieved person[s],” Congress required that a Fair Housing Act plaintiff plead more than just Article III injury-in-fact; and (2) whether proximate cause requires more than just the possibility that a defendant could have foreseen that the remote plaintiff might ultimately lose money through some theoretical chain of contingencies.
Moore v. Texas (1) Whether it violates the Eighth Amendment and this Court’s decisions in Hall v. Florida and Atkins v. Virginia to prohibit the use of current medical standards on intellectual disability, and require the use of outdated medical standards, in determining whether an individual may be executed.
Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado Whether a no-impeachment rule constitutionally may bar evidence of racial bias offered to prove a violation of the Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury.
BeavEx Inc. v. Costello Whether the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act preempts generally-applicable state laws that force motor carriers to treat and pay all drivers as “employees” rather than as independent contractors.