Petitions We’re Watching

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Petitions Relisted for the Next Conference

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
14-49 National Mining Association v. Environmental Protection Agency Whether an administrative agency, when authorized by Congress to regulate only if “appropriate,” can deem the cost of the regulation irrelevant, with the result that, by the agency’s own estimate, regulatory costs outweigh benefits by almost two thousand to one.
14-46 Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency Whether the Environmental Protection Agency’s interpretation of “appropriate” in 42 U.S.C. § 7412(n)(1)(A) is unreasonable because it refused to consider a key factor (costs) when determining whether it is appropriate to regulate hazardous air pollutants emitted by electric utilities.
14-35 Berger v. American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Whether the government speech doctrine permits the state of North Carolina to promote its “Choose Life” message through a specialty license plate program over which it exercises complete and effective control without also offering a pro-choice specialty plate.
13-1433 Brumfield v. Cain (1) Whether a state court that considers the evidence presented at a petitioner’s penalty phase proceeding as determinative of the petitioner’s claim of mental retardation under Atkins v. Virginia has based its decision on an unreasonable determination of facts under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(2); and (2) whether a state court that denies funding to an indigent petitioner who has no other means of obtaining evidence of his mental retardation has denied petitioner his “opportunity to be heard,” contrary to Atkins and Ford v. Wainwright and his constitutional right to be provided with the “basic tools” for an adequate defense, contrary to Ake v. Oklahoma.
14-47 Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency Whether, under a statutory directive to regulate residual public health risks from electric utility steam generating units (EGUs) hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) emissions only as “appropriate and necessary,” the administrator (i) may regulate EGU HAP emissions that pose no hazard to public health, and (ii) may (or must as a Chevron Step One matter) ignore costs in determining “appropriate” regulation because more narrowly drawn decisional standards in the same statute require the administrator to consider (or preclude him from considering) costs.
14-191 Ryan v. Hurles (1) Whether, under this Court's decision in Martinez v. Ryan, post-conviction counsel's ineffectiveness can provide cause to excuse the procedural default of an ineffective-assistance-of-appellate-counsel claim, or whether Martinez v. Ryan is limited to excusing only the default of a claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel; and (2) whether, under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), a state-court adjudication of a judicial-bias claim is per se unreasonable under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(2) merely because the allegedly biased judge rules on the claim based on facts within her knowledge without first conducting an evidentiary hearing, or whether a federal court must grant AEDPA deference to the judge's determination when the evidence in the state-court record supports it.
14-144 Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans (1) Whether the messages and images that appear on state-issued specialty license plates qualify as government speech immune from any requirement of viewpoint neutrality; and (2) whether Texas engaged in “viewpoint discrimination” by rejecting the license-plate design proposed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, when Texas has not issued any license plate that portrays the confederacy or the confederate battle flag in a negative or critical light.
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.
13-1412 City and County of San Francisco 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.

Petitions for Conference of 11.25.2014

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
14-340 Friends of Amador County v. Jewell Whether, in an action by a third party against the Secretary of the Interior under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 551 et seq., a putative Indian tribe may invoke its sovereign immunity to prevent a court from reviewing the lawfulness of the Secretary's decision to recognize it as a tribe.
14-197 Illinois v. Davis Whether Miller v. Alabama -- which held that a state may not sentence a juvenile homicide offender to life imprisonment without parole without first providing a process for the sentencer to consider the offender's youth and attendant characteristics -- announced a new substantive rule which applies retroactively to a conviction that was final before Miller was decided.
14-123 BP Exploration & Production Inc. v. Lake Eugenie Land & Development Whether the court of appeals erred in holding – in conflict with the Second, Seventh, Eighth, and D.C. Circuits – that district courts can, consistent with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 and Article III of the Constitution, certify classes that include numerous members who have not suffered any injury caused by the defendant.
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. CVSG: 10/16/2014.
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.” CVSG: 10/16/2014.

Petitions for Conference of 12.05.2014

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
14-407 Premo v. Harris Whether, if a state appellate court rejects an unpreserved federal claim after assessing whether the “plain error” exception to state preservation requirements permitted review, but does not explain its reasoning, a federal habeas court should conclude that the state court ruled on the federal claim’s merits, such that federal court review is appropriate.
14-400 Harris v. Viegelahn Whether, when a debtor in good faith converts a bankruptcy case to Chapter 7 after confirmation of a Chapter 13 plan, undistributed funds held by the Chapter 13 trustee are refunded to the debtor (as the Third Circuit held in In re Michael), or distributed to creditors (as the Fifth Circuit held below).
14-370 Med-1 Solutions, LLC v. Suesz Whether the term “judicial district” in section 1692i of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act should be defined with respect to state law, by determining the smallest unit into which the state consistently and uniformly divides itself (as is the rule in the Second Circuit), or whether the term should be given a federal common law definition that asks what is the smallest geographic area relevant for state court venue (as held by the Seventh Circuit below).
14-284 Humble v. Planned Parenthood Arizona Whether an abortion regulation that is rationally related to the state's interest in maternal health creates an undue burden and is therefore invalid (a) only when it erects a substantial obstacle to obtaining a pre-viability abortion, as the Fifth and Sixth Circuits held, or (b) when “the extent of the burden a law imposes on a woman's right to abortion” outweighs “the strength of the state's justification for the law,” as the Ninth Circuit held in the decision below.
14-282 Chandler v. U.S. Whether conspiracy to commit a robbery, absent any overt act in furtherance of the crime, is itself a violent felony presenting a serious potential risk of physical injury justifying an enhanced sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act.
14-271 Plumley v. Austin Whether a reviewing court may presume that a trial judge acted “vindictively” in giving a defendant a higher sentence after resentencing, when no higher court had vacated the trial judge's original sentence.
14-260 Chase Investment Services Corp. v. Baumann (1) Whether a suit brought by a private party on behalf of himself and other similarly situated individuals is a “class action” subject to the diversity jurisdiction provisions of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005; and (2) whether aggrieved employees’ claims to statutory penalties and attorney’s fees may be aggregated for purposes of satisfying the amount-in-controversy requirement of the diversity jurisdiction statute.
14-209 Illinois v. Cummings Whether the Fourth Amendment permits a police officer to request a driver to produce his license during a lawfully-initiated traffic stop but after reasonable suspicion or probable cause has dissipated, where the officer's conduct is reasonable under the totality of circumstances and the stop is not unreasonably prolonged.
14-181 Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company Whether the Second Circuit – in a 2-1 panel decision that disregarded the considered opinion advanced by the United States as amicus – erred in holding that The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) preempts Vermont's health care database law as applied to the third-party administrator for a self-funded ERISA plan.
14-139 Standard Furniture Manufacturing Co. v. Int'l Trade Commission (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.
14-116 Bullard v. Hyde Park Savings Bank Whether an order denying confirmation of a bankruptcy plan is appealable.
14-93 HealthBridge Management, LLC v. Kreisberg (1) Whether a companion authorization issued by the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board in conjunction with an order from the Board itself, purporting to possess a quorum and take the same action on its own behalf, suffices to authorize a section 10(j) proceeding commenced while the Board itself lacked a quorum to authorize it; and (2) whether the familiar four-factor test for preliminary injunctive relief articulated in Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. applies to preliminary injunctive relief sought in a petition under section 10(j) of the National Labor Relations Act, as a majority of circuits have held, or whether an entirely different and profoundly deferential standard applies, as the courts below held.
14-59 Schultz v. Wescom (1) Whether the Ninth Circuit erred when it held - in conflict with the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Tenth Circuits, but in accord with the Seventh Circuit - that a district court's order striking or refusing to consider a qualified immunity motion is not subject to interlocutory appeal, even when it subjects a public official to unlimited discovery for the duration of a lawsuit; and (2) whether petitioners are entitled to qualified immunity.
13-1416 Gordon v. Bank of America, N.A. Whether an order denying confirmation of a bankruptcy plan is appealable.
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.” CVSG: 10/30/2014.

Petitions for Conference of 01.09.2015

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
14-310 Cohen v. U.S. Whether, having invalidated the only mechanism the IRS had developed for pursuing refunds of long distance telephone excise taxes unlawfully exacted from individuals, corporations, and non-profit entities between February 28, 2003 and July 31, 2006, the District Court was nevertheless precluded by this Court's decision in Norton v. Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance from directing the IRS to provide by properly adopted regulation for a workable refund protocol applicable to those taxes.
14-297 SQM North America Corporation v. City of Pomona Whether, as the Ninth Circuit held, in open and admitted conflict with other courts of appeals, a district court may exclude expert testimony as unreliable only when it is based on a “faulty methodology or theory,” or whether, as the Third Circuit and other circuits have held, “any step that renders the analysis unreliable . . . renders the expert's testimony inadmissible.”
14-292 Bower v. Texas (1) Whether the former Texas special issues for death penalty sentencing do provide – as the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals held – or do not provide – as the Fifth Circuit has held – an appropriate vehicle for the jury to consider and give full effect to mitigating evidence of good character, such that failure to provide a separate question violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments under this Court’s jurisprudence in Penry v. Lynaugh and Penry v. Johnson; (2) whether a conviction aided by the prosecution's failure to produce evidence that contradicted its theory and showed that the evidence it did rely upon and the resulting jury arguments were false violates the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments under this Court's Brady v. Maryland jurisprudence; and (3) whether executing a defendant who has already served more than 30 years on death row while exercising his legal rights in a non-abusive manner serves any penological purpose and amounts to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.
14-185 Mata v. Holder Whether the Fifth Circuit erred in this case in holding that it has no jurisdiction to review petitioner's request that the Board of Immigration Appeals equitably toll the 90-day deadline on his motion to reopen as a result of ineffective assistance of counsel under 8 C.F.R. § 1003.2(c)(2).
14-165 Hoyle v. U.S. Whether, when the Federal Sentencing Guidelines calculate a person's offense level based on prior convictions that are expressly excluded under the relevant federal statute, the statute or the Guidelines control.

Petitions Not Set for Conference

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
14-574 Bourke v. Beshear (1) Whether a state violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment by prohibiting gay men and lesbians from marrying an individual of the same sex; and (2) whether a state violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment by refusing to recognize legal marriages between individuals of the same sex performed in other jurisdictions.
14-571 Deboer v. Snyder Whether a state violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by denying same-sex couples the right to marry.
14-562 Tanco v. Haslam (1) Whether a state violates the Due Process or Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by depriving same-sex couples of the fundamental right to marry, including recognition of their lawful, out-of-state marriages; (2) whether a state impermissibly infringes upon same-sex couples’ fundamental right to interstate travel by refusing to recognize their lawful out-of-state marriages; and (3) whether this Court’s summary dismissal in Baker v. Nelson is binding precedent as to petitioners’ constitutional claims.
14-556 Obergefell v. Hodges (1) Whether Ohio’s constitutional and statutory bans on recognition of marriages of same-sex couples validly entered in other jurisdictions violate the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; and (2) whether Ohio’s refusal to recognize a judgment of adoption of an Ohio-born child issued to a same-sex couple by the courts of a sister state violates the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
14-481 National Heritage Foundation v. The Highbourne Foundation Whether, where a Chapter 11 debtor’s plan of reorganization hinges on the ability to enforce releases and injunctions in favor of nondebtors, a court may reject such releases and injunctions based on its concern over whether the plan makes distributions to non-creditors, here donors to charitable Donor Advised Funds.
14-471 Contorinis v. Securities and Exchange Commission Whether a defendant in a Securities and Exchange Commission civil enforcement action can be ordered to disgorge profits that he or she never received, possessed, or controlled, but that instead accrued directly to innocent third parties.
14-460 Hickenlooper v. Kerr (1) Whether, after this Court's decision in New York v. United States, plaintiffs’ claims that Colorado's government is not republican in form remain non-justiciable political questions; and (2) whether a minority of legislators have standing to challenge a law that allegedly dilutes their power to legislate on a particular subject.
14-457 King v. McCree Whether this Court should revisit Stump v. Sparkman to elucidate it and hold that judicial immunity from civil suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 does not extend to the presiding judge's admitted non-judicial conduct in this case.
14-456 Alvarez v. U.S. Whether, when a court of appeals issues a general remand for resentencing, the district court may conduct resentencing de novo.
14-452 Kansas v. Gleason Whether the Eighth Amendment requires that a capital-sentencing jury be affirmatively instructed that mitigating circumstances “need not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” as the Kansas Supreme Court held in this case, or instead whether the Eighth Amendment is satisfied by instructions that, in context, make clear that each juror must individually assess and weigh any mitigating circumstances.
14-449 Kansas v. Carr (1) Whether the Eighth Amendment requires that a capital-sentencing jury be affirmatively instructed that mitigating circumstances “need not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” as the Kansas Supreme Court held here, or instead whether the Eighth Amendment is satisfied by instructions that, in context, make clear that each juror must individually assess and weigh any mitigating circumstances; (2) whether the Confrontation Clause, as interpreted in Crawford v. Washington and Davis v. Washington, applies to the “selection” phase of capital sentencing proceedings, as the Kansas Supreme Court held here, i.e., after a defendant has been convicted of capital murder and proof of eligibility for the death penalty has been presented in the guilt phase subject to full confrontation, or does not apply to such purely sentencing evidence, as at least three Circuits have held; and (3) whether the trial court's decision not to sever the sentencing phase of the co-defendant brothers’ trial here – a decision that comports with the traditional approach preferring joinder in circumstances like this – violated an Eighth Amendment right to an “individualized sentencing” determination and was not harmless in any event.
14-439 Kurtz v. Verizon New York, fka New York Telephone Company (1) Whether the exhaustion requirements of Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank apply to any constitutional claim – including the procedural due-process claims in this case – when that claim shares facts in common with a possible Takings Clause claim; and (2) whether federal courts must impose special exhaustion requirements on Takings Clause claims even where, as here, the taking is “final.”
14-435 Fox v. Fox Whether, under the Due Process Clause, a state court must have personal jurisdiction over an assailant to award a no-contact order, valid only within that state, to a victim of abuse who is domiciled in the state.
14-430 Kelly v. McCarley (1) What standards a federal habeas court should apply when reviewing a state court's determination that a constitutional error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt under Chapman v. California; and (2) whether the Sixth Circuit erred by granting habeas relief based on its de novo review of the habeas petitioner’s claim and on its “grave doubts” over whether the alleged constitutional error influenced the jury's verdict.
14-419 Luis v. U.S. Whether the pretrial restraint of a criminal defendant's legitimate, untainted assets (those not traceable to a criminal offense) needed to retain counsel of choice violates the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.
14-402 State Water Contractors v. Jewell (1) Whether the Secretary of the Interior, when concluding that a federal agency action will jeopardize a species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, must address in the administrative record the economic and technical feasibility of proposed “reasonable and prudent alternatives,” including the effects of the proposed alternatives on third parties; (2) whether the Secretary may disregard the “best scientific data” on the ground that considering the data would lead to a less “conservative” result, because scientific certainty is impossible, or because the Secretary has considered a range of data in reaching a conclusion; and (3) whether, once the Secretary’s consultation is triggered by some discretion in operating a water project, the Secretary may apply the no-jeopardy mandate of Section 7(a)(2) to actions involved in water project operations that are compelled by specific legal obligations.
14-391 Stop This Insanity Employee Leadership Fund v. Federal Election Commission (1) Whether a political committee that makes highly restricted direct contributions has a First Amendment right to engage in unrestricted non-contribution activities through a separate and segregated non-contribution account; and (2) whether the First Amendment forbids a government from restricting political speech based on the disclosure interest – an interest in providing the electorate with information about the sources of election-related spending – including when a more narrowly tailored remedy is available.
14-378 McFadden v. U.S. Whether, to convict a defendant of distribution of a controlled substance analogue – a substance with a chemical structure that is “substantially similar" to a schedule I or II drug and has a “substantially similar” effect on the user (or is believed or represented by the defendant to have such a similar effect) – the government must prove that the defendant knew that the substance constituted a controlled substance analogue, as held by the Second, Seventh, and Eighth Circuits, but rejected by the Fourth and Fifth Circuits.
14-363 Hildebrand v. Allegheny County Whether the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which forbids age-based discrimination against state and local government employees, precludes those employees from bringing a section 1983 action to redress age discrimination that violates the Equal Protection Clause.
14-361 Ocasio v. U.S. Whether a conspiracy to commit extortion requires that the conspirators agree to obtain property from someone outside the conspiracy.
14-360 Annucci v. Vincent (1) Whether a convicted offender has a clearly established constitutional right – sufficient to defeat qualified immunity – to separate judicial pronouncement of mandatory post-release supervision; and (2) whether, absent a definitive ruling from this Court, a federal court of appeals’ habeas ruling could clearly establish such a right without regard to contrary rulings by state courts of coordinate jurisdiction.
14-355 Ames v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company (1) Whether, in a constructive discharge case, the plaintiff must also prove, in addition to proving that discrimination created conditions so intolerable that a reasonable person would have felt compelled to resign, that the employer acted with the intent of forcing the plaintiff to resign; and (2) whether, in a constructive discharge case, the plaintiff must also prove that before resigning he or she complained sufficiently to the employer about the discrimination.
14-354 The Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education of the City of New York (1) Whether a government policy expressly excluding “religious worship services” from a broadly open forum violates the Free Exercise Clause and Establishment Clause; and (2) whether a government policy expressly excluding “religious worship services” from a broadly open forum violates the Free Speech Clause.
14-351 Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida Department of Revenue Whether sovereign immunity bars an American Indian tribe from seeking Ex parte Young relief from the unconstitutional enforcement of a state tax scheme merely because that relief might require refunds for taxes unlawfully collected in the future.
14-342 King Cole Foods v. U.S. Whether Sixth Circuit precedent which precludes judicial review of the administrative sanction disqualifying petitioners from further participation in the supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program should be reversed because the express language of 7 U.S.C. § 2023(a)(15) permits de novo judicial review of “the questioned administrative action in issue” and because the Sixth Circuit precedent conflicts with other circuits which have reviewed the issue.
14-337 Holmich v. U.S. Whether restitution is a criminal penalty subject to the requirement under the Sixth Amendment that the government allege in the indictment and a jury find beyond a reasonable doubt any fact that increases the amount of criminal sentences, penalties, and judgments.
14-328 Peralta v. Dillard (1) Whether prison officials sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violating the Eighth Amendment may evade a finding of deliberate indifference by raising the defense that state-imposed budgetary constraints prevented the provision of constitutionally adequate medical care; and (2) whether the Eighth Amendment supports a distinction between the subjective element required for a finding of deliberate indifference in a claim for injunctive relief, and that required for an award of damages.
14-317 New Mexico v. Schwartz (1) Whether live, two-way video testimony -- which is given under oath, allows the jury to assess the witness’s demeanor, and provides the accused a fair opportunity to confront and cross-examine -- satisfies the constitutional requirement of face-to-face confrontation or qualifies as a permissible substitute for in-person testimony upon a showing of unavailability or other necessity-based standard; and (2) whether any impermissible use of two-way video testimony is subject to the harmless error standard of Delaware v. Van Arsdall, which evaluates a missing element of confrontation in the context of the witness's testimony and the trial as a whole, or instead is subject to the standard of Coy v. Iowa, which disregards the offending testimony in its entirety and considers only the remaining evidence.
14-276 Wilkins v. Stephens (1) Whether the Fifth Circuit erred in holding that a capital habeas petitioner may not obtain funding under 18 U.S.C. § 3599(f) to investigate and develop a claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel if the claim has been procedurally defaulted, regardless of whether the petitioner can establish cause for the default under Martinez v. Ryan, at least where the petitioner has not already demonstrated the merits of the claim; and (2) whether, in a capital habeas case where the petitioner has had no opportunity or funding to investigate or develop his procedurally defaulted ineffective-assistance claim, a federal court may deny relief and deny a certificate of appealability based on a premature determination that the claim lacks merit.
14-275 Horne v. Department of Agriculture (1) Whether the government's “categorical duty” under the Fifth Amendment to pay just compensation when it “physically takes possession of an interest in property,” Arkansas Game & Fish Comm'n v. United States, applies only to real property and not to personal property; (2) whether the government may avoid the categorical duty to pay just compensation for a physical taking of property by reserving to the property owner a contingent interest in a portion of the value of the property, set at the government's discretion; and (3) whether a governmental mandate to relinquish specific, identifiable property as a “condition” on permission to engage in commerce effects a per se taking.
14-256 Keele v. U.S. Whether a general appeal waiver bars a challenge to a restitution order.
14-220 Roman Catholic Church of the Diocese of Baton Rouge v. Mayeux Whether a court can pivot liability for a priest's failure to report certain communications to public authorities on the court's own determination of whether those communications constitute “confession per se,” or whether it must respect the church's own view that such communications are confessional and absolutely protected from disclosure by the priest on penalty of automatic excommunication.
14-200 NACS, fka National Association of Convenience Stores v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Whether the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System’s regulation establishing a maximum allowable debit card interchange fee, 12 C.F.R. § 235.3, unlawfully permits banks to recover costs forbidden by the governing statute, 15 U.S.C. § 1693o-2(a)(4)(B).
13-1512 Hammond v. U.S. (1) Whether and under what circumstances the Eighth Amendment authorizes a district court to impose a sentence less than the statutory mandatory minimum; and (2) whether a criminal defendant's waiver of appeal rights made in an agreement to resolve a case prohibits an appeal by the government.

Calls for the Views of the Solicitor General

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
22o143 Mississippi v. Tennessee (1) Whether the Court will grant Mississippi leave to file an original action to seek relief from respondents’ use of a pumping operation to take approximately 252 billion gallons of high quality groundwater; (2) whether Mississippi has sole sovereign authority over and control of groundwater naturally stored within its borders, including in sandstone within Mississippi’s borders; and (3) whether Mississippi is entitled to damages, injunctive, and other equitable relief for the Mississippi intrastate groundwater intentionally and forcibly taken by respondents.
13-1547 Ridley School District v. M. R., as Parents of E. R., a Minor Whether operation of a “stay-put” provision in 20 U.S.C. § 1415(j) – which requires that a child whose educational program under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is under dispute to remain in his or her then-current placement while statutory “proceedings” to resolve the dispute are pending – terminates upon entry of a final judgment by a state or federal trial court in favor of the school district, as the D.C. and Sixth Circuits have held, or whether it continues until completion of any subsequent appeal of that judgment, as the Third and Ninth Circuits 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.
13-1467 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.
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.
13-1361 Samantar v. Yousef 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.
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.
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.
13-1241 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.
13-1067 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.
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.
13-817 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.

Petitions Held for Another Conference

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