Petitions to watch | Conference of June 14

In its conference of June 14, 2018, the court will consider petitions involving issues such as whether the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act prohibits the National Park Service from exercising regulatory control over state, native corporation and private land physically located within the boundaries of the national park system in Alaska; whether a misstatement claim that does not meet the elements set forth in Janus Capital Group, Inc. v. First Derivative Traders can be repackaged and pursued as a fraudulent-scheme claim; and whether the Eighth Amendment’s excessive fines clause is incorporated against the states under the 14th Amendment.

17-204

Issue: Whether consumers may sue anyone who delivers goods to them for antitrust damages, even when they seek damages based on prices set by third parties who would be the immediate victims of the alleged offense. CVSG: 05/08/2018.

17-108

Issues: (1) Whether the creation and sale of custom floral arrangements to celebrate a wedding ceremony is artistic expression, and, if so, whether compelling their creation violates the free speech clause; and (2) whether the compelled creation and sale of custom floral arrangements to celebrate a wedding and attendance of that wedding against one’s religious beliefs violates the free exercise clause.

17-6856

Issue: Whether the “separate sovereign” concept actually exists when Congress’s plenary power over Indian tribes and the general erosion of any real tribal sovereignty is amplified by the Northern Cheyenne Tribe’s constitution in such a way that the petitioner’s prosecutions in both tribal and federal court violate the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution.

17-1184

Issue: Whether a vocational expert’s testimony can constitute substantial evidence of “other work,” 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)(4)(v), available to an applicant for social security benefits on the basis of a disability, when the expert fails upon the applicant’s request to provide the underlying data on which that testimony is premised.

16-9541

Issues: (1) Whether the Louisiana Supreme Court erred in upholding the petitioner’s death sentence when the jury made only one of the two statutory required jury findings beyond a reasonable doubt; (2) whether standards of decency have evolved to render the execution of a defendant prosecuted as a principal to first degree murder unconstitutional when, as the state conceded, jurors could not know who inflicted the blows that caused the victim’s death; (3) whether testimony establishing communications between a deputy monitoring the trial and an alternate juror in front of other jurors about the trial constitutes sufficient evidence to be presumptively prejudicial; and (4) whether the Louisiana Supreme Court’s rule, which requires an indigent defendant to accept his trial counsel’s decision to concede his guilt of second degree murder over his express objections or represent himself, vitiates the voluntariness of the petitioner’s waiver of counsel.

Eaton v. United States
17-6680

Issue: [The petitioner is a pro se prisoner and the government waived its right to respond, so we have been unable to obtain a copy of the petition.]

17-7245

Issue: Whether the death penalty, in and of itself, violates the Eighth Amendment in light of contemporary standards of decency and the geographic arbitrariness of its imposition.

17-646

Issue: Whether the Supreme Court should overrule the “separate sovereigns” exception to the double jeopardy clause.

17-1026

Issue: Whether the “presumption of prejudice” recognized in Roe v. Flores-Ortega applies when a criminal defendant instructs his trial counsel to file a notice of appeal but trial counsel decides not to do so because the defendant’s plea agreement included an appeal waiver.

17-1354

Issues: (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit improperly departed from the Supreme Court’s decision in White v. Pauly and numerous other cases when it denied qualified immunity notwithstanding the absence of clearly established law imposing liability under circumstances closely analogous to those confronting the petitioner in this case; and (2) whether the lower court improperly departed from the Supreme Court’s decisions in Graham v. Connor and Plumhoff v. Rickard when it denied qualified immunity based on the absence of a constitutional violation given that the undisputed facts established that the petitioner acted reasonably in responding to the threat of a suspect turning towards him while raising the barrel of what appeared to be an assault rifle.

17-7177

Issue: Whether, when a criminal defendant has already been convicted of an offense in a state criminal proceeding, the United States may thereafter prosecute the defendant for the same offense without violating the Fifth Amendment’s prohibition on double jeopardy.

17-7153

Issues: (1) Whether incarcerating a prisoner awaiting execution for over four decades, even after the state found a life-without-parole sentence to be appropriate, violates the Eighth Amendment because it fails to serve any legitimate penological purpose; and (2) whether incarcerating a prisoner awaiting execution for over four decades, with over half that time attributable to repeated constitutional violations in a succession of sentencing hearings, violates the Eighth Amendment because it fails to serve any legitimate penological purpose.

17-1077

Issue: Whether a misstatement claim that does not meet the elements set forth in Janus Capital Group, Inc. v. First Derivative Traders can be repackaged and pursued as a fraudulent-scheme claim.

17-1364

Issues: (1) Whether the district court had jurisdiction to consider challenges to the new districting plan the North Carolina General Assembly enacted after North Carolina’s previous state districting plan was invalidated as a racial gerrymander; (2) whether the district court erred by finding that four districts were racially gerrymandered even though the legislature did not consider race; (3) whether the district court erred by considering and substantiating a state-law challenge to five districts in which no plaintiff resides; (4) whether the district court erred by refusing to allow the legislature to enact its own remedial plan; and (5) whether the district court erred by imposing a map that improperly considered race.

17-5503

Issues: (1) Whether the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment prohibits the federal government from charging, convicting and sentencing a person who has already been charged, convicted and sentenced in the court of a state for much of the same conduct; and (2) whether the seriousness of the offense conduct is an appropriate consideration for a district court when fashioning a sentence on revocation of supervised release.

17-8002

Issue: Whether the Supreme Court should overrule the “dual sovereignty” exception to the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment for serial state and federal prosecutions for the same conduct.

17-742

Issue: Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit’s holding—granting qualified immunity to law-enforcement officers who stopped the petitioner from praying silently in her own home because there was no prior case law involving similar facts—conflicts with Hope v. Pelzer, which “expressly rejected a requirement that previous cases be ‘fundamentally similar’” or involve “‘materially similar’ facts.”

17-949

Issue: Whether the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act prohibits the National Park Service from exercising regulatory control over state, native corporation and private land physically located within the boundaries of the national park system in Alaska.

17-1091

Issue: Whether the Eighth Amendment’s excessive fines clause is incorporated against the states under the 14th Amendment.

17-5410

Issue: Whether the Supreme Court should overrule the “separate sovereigns” exception to the double jeopardy clause.

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