Petitions We’re Watching

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Petitions We're Watching
Docket Case Page Issue(s)
11-46 Adar v. Smith (1) Whether a state violates the Full Faith and Credit Clause when an executive official selectively disregards some out-of-state judgments of adoption based on policy assessments of the wisdom of those judgments; (2) whether 42 U.S.C. § 1983 provides a remedy for a violation of the Full Faith and Credit Clause; and (3) whether a state violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment when, based on its disapproval of the unmarried status of a child’s adoptive parents, the state refuses to issue the child with an accurate, amended birth certificate.
13-1467 Aetna Life Insurance Company v. Kobold Whether the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act (FEHBA), which expressly “preempt[s] any State or local law” that would prevent enforcement of “[t]he terms of any contract” under FEHBA that “relate to the nature, provision, or extent of coverage or benefits (including payments with respect to benefits),” preempts state laws precluding carriers that administer FEHBA plans from seeking reimbursement or subrogation pursuant to the terms of FEHBA contracts.
12-550 Alpha I, LP v. U.S. 1) Whether the penalty under 26 U.S.C. § 6662 for an overvaluation misstatement is applicable to any underpayment of tax that may result from adjustments made by the IRS in a notice of Final Partnership Administrative Adjustment (“FPAA”) issued to a partnership, when that partnership concedes the adjustments asserted in the FPAA on a ground that is separate from valuation. 2) Whether a court has jurisdiction in a partnership-level proceeding under the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (“TEFRA”) (i.e., 26 U.S.C. §§ 6221—6233) to determine whether a partner’s transfer of his or her partnership interest was a sham, based on the possibility that the trial court might make findings not urged by either party but that would support the court’s jurisdiction.
11-363 Amgen Inc. v. New York (1) Whether a claim can be deemed “false or fraudulent” within the meaning of the False Claims Act because the claimant violated a statutory, regulatory or contractual obligation and, at the time the claim was submitted, the government payor could have but was not required to deny the claim on that ground; and (2) whether the provisions of the False Claims Act can be used to enforce compliance with statutes, regulations, contractual obligations, or other program requirements, even though no statute, regulation or contractual provision expressly conditions payment on compliance with those obligations.
13-1314 Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission Whether the provision of the Arizona Constitution that divests the Arizona Legislature of any authority to prescribe congressional district lines violates the Elections Clause of the United States Constitution, which requires that the time, place, and manner of congressional elections be prescribed in each state by the “Legislature thereof.”
13-1367 Ashley Furniture Industries v. U.S. (1) Whether a statute that denies a government benefit based on a recipient’s failure to express support for a proposed course of government action, is subject to, and survives, strict scrutiny under the First Amendment; and (2) whether, to successfully defend a viewpoint-discriminatory statute subject to intermediate scrutiny under Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. v. Public Service Commission, the government must prove that non-discriminatory measures would fail to satisfy the government's interests.
13-1313 Association des Éleveurs de Canards et d’Oies du Québec v. Harris Whether the Commerce Clause allows California to impose a complete ban on the sale of wholesome, USDA-approved poultry products from other States and countries - in this case, foie gras - based solely on the agricultural methods used by out-of-state farmers who raise their animals entirely beyond California's borders.
13-1379 Athena Cosmetics v. Allergan Whether, under Buckman Co. v. Plaintiffs’ Legal Committee, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act impliedly preempts a private state-law claim for unfair competition premised on a party’s purported failure to obtain Food and Drug Administration approval, where the Food and Drug Administration itself has not imposed any such requirement.
13-330 Avis Budget Group v. Alaska Rent-A-Car Whether the erroneous deprivation of a peremptory challenge in federal court, which allows a prospective juror who should have been stricken to sit on the jury, is subject to harmless-error review.
13-1309 Battles v. U.S. Whether, when the district court disposes of a motion for a new trial while an appeal is pending in the court of appeals, a defendant must file a second notice of appeal in order for the court of appeals to have jurisdiction to consider the issue that was before the district court in the motion for a new trial.
12-13 Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives v. Gill (1) Whether Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, 1 U.S.C. § 7, violates the equal protection component of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment; and (2) whether the court below erred by inventing and applying to Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act a previously unknown standard of equal protection review.
12-23 Brewer v. Diaz Whether the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ignored this Court’s precedent and erred in holding that Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) Section 38-651(O) (Section O) violates the Equal Protection Clause by limiting healthcare benefits to state employees’ spouses and dependents – and thus not extending such benefits to state employees’ domestic partners – given that a) Section O is facially neutral and there is no evidence that the Legislature intended to discriminate based on sexual orientation; b) Section O furthers the State’s interests in promoting marriage while also eliminating the additional expense and administrative burdens involved in providing healthcare benefits to state employees’ domestic partners; and c) the court’s reason for finding that Section O discriminates against gay and lesbian state employees was that Arizona prohibits same-sex marriage.
13-1343 Brown v. Mississippi Department of Health Whether a court may increase a damage award under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to offset the negative tax liabilities a plaintiff will suffer for receiving back and future wages in one year compared to receiving them over several years.
11-1497 Byrne v. Wood, Herron & Evans, LLP (1) Whether the Federal Circuit departed from the standard this Court articulated in Grable & Sons Metal Products, Inc. v. Darue Engineering & Manufacturing for “arising under” jurisdiction of the federal courts under 28 U.S.C. §1338, when it held that state law legal malpractice tort claims which involve no actual patents and have no impact on actual patent rights come within the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal courts because a patent was involved in the underlying litigation; and (2) whether the Federal Circuit’s overly broad and mistaken standard has caused a conflict among state courts and federal courts regarding federal jurisdiction with some other courts declining to assume federal jurisdiction of these state law tort cases.
12-6142 Calhoun v. U.S. (1) Whether it is fundamental or structural error not amenable to meaningful review for the government to resort to racial prejudice or stereotypes as an indicia of guilt; (2) If it is not structural error, is it always plain error for the government to interject racial stereotypes into a trial in order to show the defendant’s guilt?
13-439 CarMax Auto Superstores California, LLC v. Fowler Whether California’s “Gentry rule” – under which class-action waivers in employment arbitration agreements are invalid if “a class arbitration is likely to be a significantly more effective practical means of vindicating the rights of the affected employees than individual litigation or arbitration,” Gentry v. Superior Court of L.A. County, is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act in light of this Court’s decisions in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion and American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant.
12-747 Cerdant v. DHL Express (USA) Is a class representative in a putative class action faced with a Rule 68 offer of judgment in excess of its potential recovery that makes no reference to class claims required to reject said offer, proceed to trial, and bear all of the costs of continuing litigation in order to preserve its right to appellate review of a denial of class certification?
12-747 Cerdant v. DHL Express (USA) Is a class representative in a putative class action faced with a Rule 68 offer of judgment in excess of its potential recovery that makes no reference to class claims required to reject said offer, proceed to trial, and bear all of the costs of continuing litigation in order to preserve its right to appellate review of a denial of class certification?
13-1428 Chappell v. Ayala Whether a state court's rejection of a claim of federal constitutional error on the ground that any error, if one occurred, was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt is an “adjudicat[ion] on the merits” within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), so that a federal court may set aside the resulting final state conviction only if the defendant can satisfy the restrictive standards imposed by that provision.
13-1044 Cisco Systems v. Commil USA, LLC Whether, and in what circumstances, the Seventh Amendment permits a court to order a partial retrial of induced patent infringement without also retrying the related question of patent invalidity.
13-1412 City and County of San Francisco, California v. Sheehan (1) Whether Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires law enforcement officers to provide accommodations to an armed, violent, and mentally ill suspect in the course of bringing the suspect into custody; and (2) whether it was clearly established that even where an exception to the warrant requirement applied, an entry into a residence could be unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment by reason of the anticipated resistance of an armed and violent suspect within.
13-1441 City of Indianapolis, Indiana v. Annex Books Whether, to satisfy the First Amendment as applied in Renton v. Playtime Theatres, Inc. and its progeny, an hours-of-operation regulation targeting negative secondary effects must be supported by highly specific, statistically-significant empirical evidence.
13-1175 City of Los Angeles v. Patel (1) Whether facial challenges to ordinances and statutes are permitted under the Fourth Amendment; and (2) whether a hotel has an expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment in a hotel guest registry where the guest-supplied information is mandated by law and an ordinance authorizes the police to inspect the registry, and if so, whether the ordinance is facially unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment unless it expressly provides for pre-compliance judicial review before the police can inspect the registry.
13-1333 Coleman-Bey v. Tollefson Whether, under the “three strikes” provision of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g), a district court’s dismissal of a lawsuit counts as a “strike” while it is still pending on appeal or before the time for seeking appellate review has passed.
13-896 Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems (1) Whether the Federal Circuit erred in holding that a defendant's belief that a patent is invalid is a defense to induced infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b); and (2) whether the Federal Circuit erred in holding that Global-Tech Appliances, Inc. v. SEB S.A. required retrial on the issue of intent under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b) where the jury (A) found the defendant had actual knowledge of the patent and (B) was instructed that “[i]nducing third-party infringement cannot occur unintentionally.”
12-744 Convergent Outsourcing v. Zinni Does an offer to provide a plaintiff with all of the relief he has requested, including more than the legal amount of damages plus costs and reasonable attorney’s fees, fail to moot the underlying claim because the defendant has not also offered to agree to the entry of a judgment against it?
13-8427 Cope v. South Carolina (1) Whether South Carolina violated petitioner’s federal due process right to present his full defense under Washington v. Texas and Chambers v. Mississippi, while replicating its error in Holmes v. South Carolina by arbitrarily applying state evidentiary rules to exclude a wealth of highly relevant and reliable evidence about the true perpetrator’s modus operandi and out-of-court admissions that tended to prove that the perpetrator raped and murdered petitioner’s child by himself, rather than in some sort of improbable collaboration with petitioner; and (2) whether, despite this Court’s unanimous decision in Holmes v. South Carolina, South Carolina erroneously evaluated petitioner’s federal constitutional challenge to the exclusion of defense evidence in light of the prosecution’s evidence and theory of guilt, while failing to consider the actual issues raised by the defense or the purposes of the evidentiary rules at issue.
13-1305 Coventry Health Care of Missouri v. Nevils Whether the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act (FEHBA), which governs the federal government’s provision of health benefits to millions of federal employees and their dependents, preempts state laws precluding carriers that administer FEHBA plans from seeking subrogation as required by their contracts with the Office of Personnel Management.
13-1227 Crews v. Farina Whether a habeas court may evade the highly deferential standard of review in the habeas statute by characterizing its legal and policy differences with the state court as unreasonable factual determinations and grant the writ on the basis of ineffectiveness of appellate counsel when the state court held that the cross-examination of the mitigation witness was not fundamental error under state law.
13-1491 Cuti v. U.S. Whether a witness may give opinion testimony based in part on specialized knowledge and in part on personal experience, including answering counterfactual hypothetical questions, without satisfying the reliability and disclosure requirements for expert testimony of Federal Rule of Evidence 702, Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 16, and/or Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26.
13-1153 Deemer v. Beard Whether the favorable termination requirement of Heck v. Humphrey applies when federal habeas relief was unavailable as a practical matter to a Section 1983 plaintiff.
12-15 Department of Health and Human Services v. Massachusetts Whether Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, 1 U.S.C. 7, violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws as applied to persons of the same sex who are legally married under the laws of their state.
12-6230 Deyton v. Keller (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?
13-1268 Dize v. Association of Maryland Pilots Whether, when applying the Chandris, Inc. v. Latsis thirty-percent rule—that, ordinarily, a qualifying “seaman” under the Jones Act must spend thirty percent or more of his time in service of a vessel in navigation—a court may consider the time a maritime worker spends in the service of a vessel in navigation that is moored, dockside, or ashore, as the Third, Fifth, Sixth, and Ninth Circuits have held, or whether a court must categorically exclude such time, as the Eleventh Circuit and the Maryland Court of Appeals have held.
13-1496 Dollar General Corporation v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Whether Indian tribal courts have jurisdiction to adjudicate civil tort claims against nonmembers, including as a means of regulating the conduct of nonmembers who enter into consensual relationships with a tribe or its members.
13-1315 Dunlap v. Idaho Whether the Confrontation Clause applies to evidence offered by the prosecution to prove statutory aggravating circumstances that establish a defendant's eligibility for the death penalty.
12-1056 Dunn v. U.S. (1) Whether a conspiracy charge under 18 U.S.C. § 371 which alleges violations of both the defraud and offense prongs of that statute presents one or two offenses; (2) whether an ends-of-justice finding necessary to grant an excludable continuance under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7), can be inferred based solely on the context in which the district court granted a continuance rather than the court’s reasoning “on the record" and (3) whether a sentencing court violates the Ex Post Facto Clause by using the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines in effect at the time of sentencing, rather than the Guidelines in effect at the time of the offense, when the newer Guidelines create a significant risk that a defendant will receive a higher sentence.
13-1398 Fedder v. Addus Healthcare (1) Whether Section 1927 of Title 28 of the United States Code, which provides that when an attorney “unreasonably and vexatiously” multiplies proceedings, he may be required “to satisfy personally the excess costs, expenses, and attorneys' fees reasonably incurred because of such conduct,” categorically prohibits courts from considering an attorney's ability to pay when exercising their discretion in determining the amount of sanctions to be imposed; and (2) whether Section 1927 permits courts to impose sanctions when the attorney’s conduct was neither reckless nor in subjective bad faith.
13-852 Federal National Mortgage Association v. Sundquist Whether a state can restrict a national bank’s exercise of its fiduciary powers in connection with real property in that state if the bank is authorized to act as a fiduciary by the Comptroller of the Currency and not prohibited from doing so by the (different) state in which the bank is “located” under 12 U.S.C. § 92a and 12 C.F.R. § 9.7.
12-1076 Fleming v. Moswin (1) Whether plaintiffs are entitled to a new trial when defendants' race-neutral explanation for their peremptory challenge of a black venireperson was not supported by the record; and (2) whether the preliminary issue of plaintiffs having established a prima facie showing is moot.
22o142 Florida v. Georgia Whether Florida is entitled to equitable apportionment of the waters of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin and appropriate injunctive relief against Georgia to sustain an adequate flow of fresh water into the Apalachicola Region.
12-10591 Fugit v. U.S. Under 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b), one may not entice a minor “to engage in prostitution or any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense.” Does the “sexual activity” element require the defendant to make or attempt physical contact with a minor, as the Seventh Circuit holds, or may a single Internet chat and phone call with no attempted physical contact with a minor satisfy the element, so long as the defendant caller was involved in the “active pursuit of [his own] libidinal gratification,” as the Fourth Circuit holds.
13-5769 Fulmer v. Texas (1) Texas has enacted a statute, Texas Penal Code § 21.02, which criminalizes continuous sexual abuse of a child or children under age 14. A jury is permitted to convict someone without unanimously agreeing exactly which two acts occurred. All the jury has to unanimously decide is that any two acts (24 total acts if there are 12 jurors) occurred over a period lasting 30 days or more. Does this statute violate the federal constitutional requirements of a unanimous jury verdict in criminal prosecutions or due process of law? Or is the statute constitutional because, as the Texas appellate courts have held, the “two or more acts” element is only the “manner and means” of committing this offense, and therefore the jury does not need to unanimously agree which two acts occurred in order to convict; (2) Texas Government Code § 508.145(a) prohibits someone convicted of continuous sexual abuse of a child or children under age 14 from being parole eligible. However, someone convicted of a multiple, specific acts of abuse against a child or children under age 14 remains parole eligible. Does this legislative classification violate the federal constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the laws, especially when, as here, a defendant is convicted of both continuous sexual abuse, which is not parole eligible, and specific acts of abuse, which are parole eligible.
12-7516 Gallow v. Cooper Whether a federal court can consider new evidence to support a state prisoner’s application for habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), when the state court record was not developed as a result of incompetent and likely conflicted post-conviction counsel.
13-97 Geneva-Roth Ventures v. Kelker Whether the Federal Arbitration Act preempts Montana’s rule subjecting arbitration provisions in standard-form contracts to a heightened standard of consent that does not apply to other terms in form contracts.
13-1517 Goins v. Lazaroff Whether an aggregate prison term imposed on a juvenile for non-homicide offenses that does not permit release before 100 years of age constitutes a sentence of life without parole as prohibited by the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
13-6646 Gomez v. Stephens (1) Whether, under the Antiterrorism and Death Penalty Act of 1996, a Franks v. Delaware hearing is a "critical stage of the criminal proceedings" as envisioned in United States v. Cronic, where petitioner's attorney's presence is required by the Sixth Amendment; (2) whether the court of appeals erred when it held that petitioner's right to his attorney's presence at a Franks hearing was not violated when the state trial court held such a hearing; (3) whether petitioner's Sixth Amendment right to confront and cross examine his accusers was violated by the absence of his attorney at his Franks hearing; (4) whether petitioner's attorney's absence from his Franks hearing was a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver by petitioner as required by Johnson v. Zerbst; and (5) whether a conflict of interest arose and existed due to petitioner's attorney's absence and therefore lack of representation at the Franks hearing.
13-1416 Gordon v. Bank of America, N.A. Whether an order denying confirmation of a bankruptcy plan is appealable.
12-804 Grounds v. Sessoms (1) Whether, when the suspect in custody makes an ambiguous or equivocal reference to counsel before receiving Miranda warnings, “clearly established Federal law” as determined by this Court forbids the police from advising the suspect of his Miranda rights and then conducting an interrogation after he waives them; and (2) whether, under the “highly deferential” standard of review set out in 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), it was objectively unreasonable for the state court to conclude that respondent did not unambiguously and unequivocally invoke his right to counsel before receiving Miranda warnings.
12-691 Hammond v. Sheets (1) Whether the federal courts below correctly decided to exclude Petitioner’s evidence provided in support of the factual basis of his claim that ineffective assistance of counsel violated his Sixth Amendment rights during his state trial; (2) whether Ohio law operated to establish a right to assistance of counsel in post-conviction proceedings, as well as a right to effective assistance of counsel through the Sixth Amendment, or whether it operates to excuse procedural defaults bringing a substantive claim of ineffective assistance of counsel in an initial-review collateral proceeding where there was either no counsel or ineffective counsel; (3) whether the federal courts below correctly decided that sufficient evidence supports Petitioner’s conviction for rape as required by due process guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment.
13-256 Hegab v. Long Whether a Federal District Court may review a decision of a federal agency revoking the security clearance of an employee where the employee has made a colorable claim that the decision revoking his clearance was in violation of his rights under the First, Fifth and Ninth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
13-1271 Herb Reed Enterprises, LLC v. Florida Entm't Management Whether the Ninth Circuit erred in concluding that eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C. means that a district court may not base a finding of irreparable injury on the same evidence used to show likely trademark infringement, such as customer confusion and impairment of control or goodwill.
13-603 Hoffner v. Walker Whether the Michigan Court of Appeals’ prejudice ruling under Strickland v. Washington rested on “an error well understood and comprehended in existing law beyond any possibility for fairminded disagreement” so as to justify habeas relief. Metrish v. Lancaster (quoting Harrington v. Richter).
13-5086 Howell v. Tennessee (1) Whether, in proceedings under Atkins v. Virginia , the Sixth Amendment requires a state to prove the absence of mental retardation (intellectual disability) beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury, because death is not within the permissible range of sentences for a person who is intellectually disabled; (2) whether this Court should grant certiorari, vacate, and remand for further consideration of Howell's Sixth Amendment claim in light of Alleyne v. United States ; (3) whether it violates the Eighth Amendment and Atkins for a state court to determine a petitioner's I.Q. without appropriately applying scientifically reliable standards for the assessment of intellectual functioning such as the Standard Error Of Measurement (SEM) of I. Q. tests or the "Flynn Effect," a recognized phenomenon requiring the downward adjustment of raw I.Q. scores to reflect the petitioner's actual I.Q.; (4) whether the Eighth Amendment and Atkins allow a state to use standards for assessing adaptive deficits that contravene scientifically accepted clinical practice and that focus on an individual's abilities rather than his actual deficits, when such deficits satisfy clinical standards for intellectual disability; and (5) whether it violates due process and/or equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment for a state supreme court to require consideration of SEM and the Flynn Effect in some Atkins cases but to refuse their consideration to the petitioner.
13-499 In re sealed case Whether a motion for return of property pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(g) is "solely for return of property," underDiBella v. United States, such that a denial of that motion would be final and immediately appealable where the motion seeks return of property and does not also seek suppression of evidence at a subsequent hearing or trial; and (2) Whether the Perlman doctrine, which provides for interlocutory appeals of non-final decisions applies to motions for return of property filed under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(g).
12-683 James v. Federal Election Commission When appellant wishes to take funds that may be legally contributed to political action committees and party committees, and instead contribute those same funds directly to additional candidate committees, whether the three-judge district court erred in dismissing her facial and as-applied challenge to Section 307(b) of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, 2 U.S.C. § 441a(a)(3)(A), which imposes a limit of $37,500 on total contributions to all individual candidates.
13-1516 Kalamazoo County Road Commission v. Deleon Whether it is an “adverse employment action” for a discrimination claim, or a “materially adverse action” for a retaliation claim, when an employer grants an employee's request for a job transfer.
13-52 Kansas v. Swindler (1) Whether, when law enforcement officers provide Miranda v. Arizona warnings prior to conducting a voluntary, noncustodial interview, they must cease all questioning if the interview subject subsequently expresses a desire to stop the interview, or whether the officers may continue the questioning without violating any constitutional requirements; and (2) whether, if what concededly began as a voluntary, noncustodial interview by police arguably becomes a custodial situation, the fact of “custody” alone makes any subsequently obtained confession involuntary, or must a court employ a “totality of the circumstances” analysis, with custody simply being one factor.
13-1241 KBR, Incorporated v. Metzgar (1) Whether the political question doctrine bars state-law tort claims against a battlefield support contractor operating in an active war zone when adjudication of those claims would necessarily require examining sensitive military judgments; (2) whether the Federal Tort Claim Act's “combatant-activities exception,” 28 U.S.C. § 2680(j), preempts state-law tort claims against a battlefield support contractor that arise out of the U.S. military's combatant activities in a theater of combat; and (3) whether the doctrine of derivative sovereign immunity bars state-law tort claims against a private contractor performing delegated public functions where the government would be immune from suit if it performed the same functions.
13-705 Keiran v. Home Capital Whether, to exercise the right to rescind a mortgage loan under the Truth in Lending Act, it is sufficient for a consumer to notify the creditor in writing within three years of obtaining the loan (as the Third and Fourth Circuits have held, and as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has concluded), or whether the consumer must also file suit within that three-year period (as the Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits have held).
13-817 Kellogg Brown & Root Services v. Harris (1) Whether the political question doctrine bars state-law tort claims against a battlefield support contractor operating in an active war zone when adjudication of those claims would necessarily require examining sensitive military judgments; (2) whether the Federal Tort Claims Act's “combatant-activities exception,” 28 U.S.C. § 2680(j), preempts state-law tort claims against a battlefield support contractor that arise out of the U.S. military's combatant activities in a theater of combat.
13-1409 Kelly v. Maryland Whether this Court's decision in United States v. Knotts can serve as the “binding appellate precedent” necessary under the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule as defined by this Court in Davis v. United States to specifically authorize the placement and continuous tracking of a Global Positioning System device on the petitioner’s private property over an extended period of time in the absence of any binding state or federal circuit precedent authorizing this police action at the time of the search.
12-140 Kentucky v. King (1) Whether the hot pursuit exception to the warrant requirement is contingent on a subjective determination of pursuit; and (2) what constitutes a serious offense for purposes of dispensing with the warrant requirement; and what test or tests is proper to determine when warrantless entry is permissible.
13-1402 Kerry v. Din (1) Whether a consular officer's refusal of a visa to a U.S. citizen's alien spouse impinges upon a constitutionally protected interest of the citizen; and (2) whether respondent is entitled to challenge in court the refusal of a visa to her husband and to require the government, in order to sustain the refusal, to identify a specific statutory provision rendering him inadmissible and to allege what it believes he did that would render him ineligible for a visa.
11-418 Khaburzania v. New York Whether this Court's mandate that by virtue of the Constitution, counsel must advise their clients of the immigration consequences of a criminal plea is applicable retroactively.
13-1479 Khan v. Chowdhury Whether, where one of the claims submitted to a jury is set aside after trial, a court must vacate the jury's general verdict, or may apply a “harmless error” exception.
13-720 Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises Whether this Court should overrule Brulotte v. Thys Co., which held that “a patentee’s use of a royalty agreement that projects beyond the expiration date of the patent is unlawful per se.”
13-1178 Kirby v. Marvel Characters (1) Whether a court can constitutionally take copyrights to works originally owned and authored by an independent contractor and hand them to a private party by judicially re-designating them “works for hire;” (2) whether “employer” under the Copyright Act of 1909 can be judicially extended beyond conventional employment to independent contractors, when this contradicts its common law meaning, binding Supreme Court precedent and longstanding canons of statutory construction; and (3) whether “work for hire” can be determined based on post-creation contingencies, like discretionary payment, when authorship and ownership of a copyrightable work, including “work for hire,” vests at inception.
12-150 Kwong v. Holder (1) Whether an abstract of judgment, which is prepared by a court clerk for sentencing purposes after a defendant’s guilty plea and without the defendant’s input, qualifies as a conclusive record made or used in adjudicating guilt sufficient to determine the nature of a prior conviction under Shepard v. United States; and (2) whether a burglary conviction in a state that does not require an unlawful or unprivileged entry can be considered a crime of violence under Leocal v. Ashcroft, when it is not a violent felony under Taylor v. United States.
11-438 Liberty University v. Geithner (1) Whether the Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) bars courts from deciding the limits of federal power to enact a novel and unprecedented law that forces individuals into the stream of commerce and coerces employers to reorder their business to enter into a government-mandated and heavily regulated health insurance program when the challenged mandates are penalties, not taxes, where the government argues Congress never intended the AIA to apply, and where the petitioners are currently being forced to comply with various parts of the law and thus have no other alternative remedy but the present action; (2) whether Congress exceeded its enumerated powers by enacting a novel and unprecedented law that forces individuals who otherwise are not market participants to enter the stream of commerce and purchase a comprehensive but vaguely defined and burdensome health insurance product, and if so, to what extent can this essential part of the statutory scheme be severed; and (3) whether Congress exceeded its enumerated powers by enacting a novel and unprecedented law that forces private employers into the health insurance market and requires them to enter into third-party contracts to provide a comprehensive but a vaguely defined health insurance product to their employees and extended beneficiaries, and if so, to what extent can this essential part of the statutory scheme be severed.
13-946 Lopez v. Smith Whether the Ninth Circuit failed to apply the deferential standard of review required by 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) when it granted federal habeas relief from a state murder conviction on the ground that the prosecutor's request for an aiding-and-abetting instruction at the jury-instruction conference violated a putative constitutional right to prior notice of the government's theory of prosecution - a right that has been recognized in the court of appeals' own precedents, but not established by any holding of this Court.
11-1536 Lucas v. U.S. Whether the sentencing terms of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A) (i)-(iii) constitute escalating, fixed sentences, or instead mere minimum sentences with implicit maximums of life in prison.
11-9843 Lyons v. Mitchell Whether a habeas petitioner’s Federal constitutional claim of denial of due process in the admission against him of gruesome photographic evidence has been “adjudicated on the merits” for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) where the State court decision affirming the trial judge’s admission of such evidence in the exercise of her discretion never addressed the petitioner’s claim of denial of Federal due process in its admission.
12-604 Madison County v. Oneida Indian Nation of New York Whether the 300,000-acre ancient Oneida reservation in New York still exists, neither disestablished nor diminished, despite (1) the federal government’s actions taken in furtherance of disestablishment (including, but not limited to, the 1838 Treaty of Buffalo Creek); (2) this Court’s holding in City of Sherrill v. Oneida Indian Nation of New York that the Oneida Indian Nation of New York cannot exercise sovereignty over lands it purchases in the ancient reservation area; and (3) this Court’s finding in that case that land in the ancient reservation area has not been treated as an Indian reservation by the federal, state or local governments for nearly two centuries.
13-697 Madrigal-Barcenas v. Holder Whether the plain text of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which states that a noncitizen is ineligible for cancellation of removal if he has been convicted of an offense “relating to a controlled substance," requires that a drug paraphernalia conviction involve or relate to a controlled substance that is actually listed in the federal schedules of controlled substances in order to render a noncitizen ineligible for cancellation of removal.
12-1453 Mariner’s Cove Townhomes Association v. U.S. Whether, as the Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits and numerous state supreme courts have held, “the right to collect assessments, or real covenants generally,” constitute compensable property under the Takings Clause or whether, as the Fifth and D.C. Circuits and a smaller group of state supreme courts have held, they constitute noncompensable property.
12-6355 Marrero v. U.S. (1) Whether this court should grant certiorari to resolve the circuit split regarding what a sentencing court can consider when applying the modified categorical Approach? Specifically, some courts of appeals have held that sentencing courts can consider charging documents and plea colloquies only to determine which crime the defendant committed when his prior offense Occurred. Others have held that sentencing courts can also consider those documents to determine how the defendant committed the prior offense and (2) whether after the Supreme Court’s decision in Begay v. United States, the question of whether a crime is a crime of violence depends upon whether the elements require Conduct which is “violent, purposeful, and aggressive.” Should the analysis of Begay apply, even if an offense is enumerated in application note 1 to U.S.S.G. § 4b1.2, the definition section of the career offender guidelines?
13-8837 Martinez v. U.S. (1) Whether the First Amendment protects political speech that is uttered without the subjective or specific intent to threaten or intimidate; or, in the alternative, (2) whether 18 U.S.C. § 875(c), which makes it a federal offense to “transmit[] in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing . . . any threat to injure the person of another,” is facially overbroad.
12-97 Massachusetts v. Dept. of Health and Human Services (1) Whether Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), 1 U.S.C. § 7, violates the Tenth Amendment; and (2) whether Section 3 of DOMA violates the Spending Clause, U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 1.
12-565 McCormick v. Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (1) Whether assets which a Medicaid recipient divested during her lifetime fall within that individual’s “estate” as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 1396p(b)(4); and (2) if not, whether 42 U.S.C. § 1396p(b)(4) preempts Idaho statutes and regulations that authorize the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to assert Medicaid recovery claims against assets in which the Medicaid recipient did not have any legal title to or interest in at the time of the recipient’s death.
13-1125 Mehanna v. U.S. Whether a citizen’s political and religious speech may constitute provision of “material support or resources” to a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) under the “coordination” rubric of Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, when the government conceded that petitioner was not instructed by the FTO, and the evidence showed that he did not interact with the FTO, but rather viewed, translated, and disseminated materials of his own choosing, while expressing moral support for certain views of the FTO, and associating on the Internet with persons who the government claims had themselves associated with the FTO.
12-245 Merck & Co. v. Louisiana Wholesale Drug Company Whether the federal antitrust laws permit a brand-name manufacturer that holds the patent for a drug to enter into a settlement of patent litigation with a prospective generic manufacturer, where the settlement includes a payment from the brand manufacturer to the generic manufacturer but does not exclude competition beyond the scope of the patent.
12-239 Minnesota v. Sahr Whether this Court should address an issue it reserved in Serfass v. United States and Sanabria v. United States, on whether “a defendant who is afforded an opportunity to obtain a determination of a legal defense prior to trial and nevertheless knowingly allows himself to be placed in jeopardy before raising the defense” forfeits or waives his double jeopardy protections.
13-1216 Missouri Gas Energy v. Kansas Division of Property Evaluation Whether a state may, consistent with the dormant Commerce Clause, impose an ad valorem tax on natural gas that is being transported through interstate commerce but temporarily stored in the state by a common carrier, even though the taxpayer has no control over where the gas is stored and no other connection with the state.
13-791 Moores v. Hildes Whether a plaintiff may state a claim under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933, which provides for strict liability “on account of” defective registration statements, where he made an irrevocable investment decision to acquire his securities before a registration statement covering the issuance of those securities existed.
12-312 Mulhall v. Unite Here Local 355 Whether intangible things can be “deliver[ed]” under Section 302(a)(2) of the Labor Management Relations Act, which makes it unlawful for employers “to pay, lend, or deliver, or agree to pay, lend, or deliver, any money or other thing of value . . . to any labor organization.” 29 U.S.C. § 186(a)(2).
12-552 Ninestar Technology Co. v. Int'l Trade Commission Whether the initial authorized sale outside the United States of a patented item terminates all patent rights to that item.
11-567 Noriega v. Torres (1) Whether, under Brower v. County of Inyo, 489 U.S. 593 (1989), a police officer’s accidental, inadvertent use of deadly force against an arrestee can constitute an unreasonable seizure under the Fourth Amendment; and (2) whether, under Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989), the standard for unreasonable force under the Fourth Amendment is identical to the standard of general negligence so that an officer may be held liable for the accidental, inadvertent use of deadly force against an arrestee; and (3) whether a police officer is entitled to qualified immunity for the accidental, inadvertent use of deadly force against an arrestee.
13-1067 OBB Personenverkehr AG v. Sachs (1) Whether, for purposes of determining when an entity is an “agent” of a “foreign state” under the first clause of the commercial activity exception of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1605(a)(2), the express definition of “agency” in the FSIA, the factors set forth in First National City Bank v. Banco Para el Comercio Exterior de Cuba, or common law principles of agency, control; and (2) whether, under the first clause of the commercial activity exception of the FSIA, 28 U.S.C. § 1605(a)(2), a tort claim for personal injuries suffered in connection with travel outside of the United States is “based upon” the allegedly tortious conduct occurring outside of the United States or the preceding sale of the ticket in the United States for the travel entirely outside the United States.
12-16 Office of Personnel Management v. Golinski Whether Section 3 of Defense of Marriage Act, 1 U.S.C. 7, violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws as applied to persons of the same sex who are legally married under the laws of their state.
12-302 Office of Personnel Management v. Pedersen Whether Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws as applied to persons of the same sex who are legally married under the laws of their State.
13-1352 Ohio v. Clark (1) Whether an individual's obligation to report suspected child abuse makes that individual an agent of law enforcement for purposes of the Confrontation Clause; and (2) whether a child's out-of-court statements to a teacher in response to the teacher's concerns about potential child abuse qualify as “testimonial” statements subject to the Confrontation Clause.
13-606 Patel v. Johnson (1) Whether the Board of Immigration Appeals is entitled to deference under Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. when interpreting the definition of “national” codified at 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(22); and (2) whether the definition of “national” in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(22) encompasses persons like petitioner who have undisputedly shown their “permanent allegiance to the United States,” id., including through the filing of an application for U.S. citizenship.
12-231 Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management Whether Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), 1 U.S.C. § 7, violates the equal protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as applied to legally married same-sex couples.
13-1406 Perez v. Stephens Whether attorney abandonment, which Maples v. Thomas held is an “extraordinary circumstance” equitably excusing a resulting failure to appeal a denial of state habeas relief, is likewise an “extraordinary circumstance” warranting reentry of a judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) where the abandonment caused the failure to appeal a denial of federal habeas relief.
13-1301 Pierre v. Holder (1) Whether the biological basis for sex discrimination articulated in Nguyen v. Immigration and Naturalization Service can be extended to unrelated facial sex and legitimacy-based distinctions in 8 U.S.C. § 1432(a), or whether such distinctions are unconstitutional, as four Justices concluded in an order for an equally divided court in Flores-Villar v. United States; and (2) whether heightened scrutiny, the ordinary standard of review for sex and legitimacy-based distinctions, applies to such distinctions in the citizenship context.
13-1504 Pregnancy Care Center of New York v. City of New York, New York (1) Whether compelling a noncommercial pro-life speaker to declare it lacks a medical license passes strict scrutiny; and (2) whether a compelled speech law is unconstitutionally vague if the City can deem speakers as needing to comply, because of their “appearance,” without any ability for the speaker to know whether it must comply.
13-1162 Purdue Pharma L.P. v. U.S. ex rel. May (1) Whether the False Claims Act’s pre-2010 “public-disclosure bar,” 31 U.S.C. § 3730(e)(4) (2009), prohibits claims that are “substantially similar” to prior public disclosures, or instead bars a claim only if the plaintiff’s knowledge “actually derives” from prior disclosures; (2) whether the False Claims Act’s “first-to-file” bar, 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(5), precludes a later-filed action that is based on the same facts as an earlier-filed action only so long as the earlier case is still pending; and (3) whether the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3287, suspends the limitations period for civil claims, such as a False Claims Act claim brought by a private party.
12-165 RBS Citizens, N.A. v. Ross (1) Whether it is consistent with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes to hold that a defendant to a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3) class action has no right to raise statutory affirmative defenses on an individual basis if the classseeks “only” monetary relief; and (2) whether a district court can conclude that the Rule 23(a)(2) commonality requirement is satisfied when a class claims the denial of overtime pay, without resolving whether dissimilarities in the class would preclude it from establishing liability on a class-wide basis.
13-1274 Richards v. Ernst & Young, LLP Whether a party should be required to demonstrate prejudice after the opposing party waived its contractual right to arbitrate by participating in litigation, in order for such waiver to be binding and irrevocable under Section 3 of the Federal Arbitration Act; (2) whether, if prejudice is required, what constitutes sufficient “prejudice” in order to find “waiver;” and (3) whether state law contractual defenses to enforcement of an arbitration agreement preserved under Section 2 of the Act, such as defenses of waiver or estoppel, provide a defense to an application for either a stay under Section 3 of the Act or an order compelling arbitration under Section 4.
13-471 Romeike v. Holder (1) Whether prosecution under a generally applicable law may constitute persecution when such a law violates human rights treaty obligations concerning a protected ground; and (2) whether prosecution under a generally applicable law may constitute persecution when there is direct evidence that one central reason for the government’s motive for prosecution is the desire to suppress the applicant on a protected ground.
13-254 Runyon v. U.S. (1) Whether, in order to demonstrate that evidentiary errors in a capital sentencing proceeding were harmless, the government must establish that the errors did not affect the verdict of the jury that actually heard the case or whether the government may instead meet its burden by demonstrating that such errors would not have affected a hypothetical, reasonable jury; and (2) whether, under the cumulative error doctrine, a reviewing court must reverse if the government cannot establish that preserved errors are harmless beyond a reasonable doubt, or is reversal required only if the errors “so fatally infect[ed] the trial that they violated the trial’s fundamental fairness.”
13-1361 Samantar v. Yousuf Whether a foreign official’s common-law immunity for acts performed on behalf of a foreign state is abrogated by plaintiffs’ allegations that those official acts violate jus cogens norms of international law.
12-335 Sanchez v. U.S. Whether, as the First Circuit alone has held, a lawsuit asserting claims arising out of federal employees’ conduct that is tortious is nevertheless implicitly exempt from the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”), which provides that the United States may be sued and shall be liable for the torts of federal employees acting within the scope of their employment, because the conduct also violates a federal statute, regulation, or policy that does not itself authorize suits for damages.
12-1067 Sears, Roebuck and Co. v. Butler (1) Whether Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3)'s predominance requirement for class action certification can be satisfied based solely on a determination that it would be “efficient” to decide a single common question at trial, without considering any of the individual issues that would also need to be tried, and without determining whether the aggregate of common issues predominates over the aggregate of individual issues; and (2) whether a class may be certified on breach of warranty claims where it is undisputed that most members did not experience the alleged product defect and where fact of injury would have to be litigated on a member-by-member basis.
13-1339 Spokeo v. Robins Whether Congress may confer Article III standing upon a plaintiff who suffers no concrete harm, and who therefore could not otherwise invoke the jurisdiction of a federal court, by authorizing a private right of action based on a bare violation of a federal statute.
12-7720 Strouth v. Colson (1) Whether this Court’s decision in Cullen v. Pinholster (2011), permits an exception whereby federal courts may consider newly developed evidence when the failure to develop that evidence in state court is a consequence of constrained process that is inadequate to develop the factual record; (2) whether this Court’s decision in Martinez v. Ryan (2012), applies to substantial ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims that were not raised in state court because constrained state court process prohibited development of the evidence that gives rise to the claim?
13-884 Takushi v. BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP Whether, pursuant to Section 1635(f) of Title 15 of the U.S. Code, a borrower seeking to rescind a mortgage loan based upon Truth in Lending Act violations must bring suit within three years of loan consummation; and (2) if so, whether such a restrictive interpretation of Section 1635(f) of Title 15 should be limited to prospective application only as a new rule, since most borrowers and their attorneys otherwise relied to their detriment upon a contrary interpretation of the relevant language contained in this Court's 1998 decision in Beach v. Ocwen Federal Bank.
13-956 Teva Pharmaceuticals USA v. Superior Court of California, Orange County Whether the California Court of Appeal erred when it deepened an acknowledged circuit split and held—contrary to this Court's decisions in Buckman Co. v. Plaintiffs’ Legal Committee and PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing; the decisions of the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits in Morris v. PLIVA, Inc. and Guarino v. Wyeth, LLC; and the plain language of the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”)—that federal law does not preempt state tort claims predicated on allegations that a generic drug manufacturer violated the FDCA by failing to immediately implement or otherwise disseminate notice of labeling changes that the United States Food and Drug Administration had approved for use on a generic drug product's brand-name equivalent.
13-1371 Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project (1) Whether disparate-impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act; and (2) if disparate-impac