US Supreme Court Docket

Supreme Court Docket

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December 2004
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Wednesday, December 1 Richard G. Rousey, et ux. v. Jill R. Jacoway
No. 03-1407

Subject:

    Individual Retirement Accounts, Bankruptcy Exemptions
Question:
    Should this Court grant certiorari to resolve the threeway circuit conflict over whether and to what extent Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are exempt from a bankruptcy estate under 11 U.S.C. 522(d)(10)(E)?
Decisions:

Resources:

Briefs:

    Parties Counsel of Record

For Petitioners Rousey, et ux.:

Thomas C. Goldstein
Goldstein & Howe, P.C.
Washington, DC
For Respondent Jacoway:
Colli C. McKiever
Fayetteville, AR


Melvin T. Smith v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts
No. 03-8661

Subject:

    Double Jeopardy, Successive Prosecutions, Insufficient Evidence
Questions:
  1. Should this Court grant certiorari to directly review Smith's case and decide the question that, constrained by the habeas corpus standard of review, it did not reach in the recent case of Price v. Vincent? That is, whether the double jeopardy clause's prohibition against successive prosecutions is violated where the judge unequivocally rules that the defendant is not guilty because the government's evidence is insufficient but later reverses her finding of not guilty?

  2. There is a split of opinion among the United States Courts of Appeals and among the state courts on the question of whether, in similar situations, trial judges violate the double jeopardy protection against successive prosecution by withdrawing an already granted verdict of not guilty. Should this Court grant certiorari to clarify its jurisprudence?
Decisions:

Resources:


Briefs:

    Parties Counsel of Record

For Petitioner Smith:

David J. Nathanson
Boston, MA
For Respondent Massachusetts:
Cathryn A. Neaves
Massachusetts Attorney General's Office
Boston, MA


Monday, December 6

Reginald A. Wilkinson, Director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, et al. v. William D. Dotson, et al.
No. 03-287

Subject:

Questions:
    This petition arises from one of the many cases considering which prisoner claims are barred by Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). Heck holds that a prisoner cannot advance a claim under 42 U.S.C. 1983 where success on that claim would "necessarily imply the invalidity of his conviction or sentence...unless...the conviction or sentence has already been invalidated." Id. at 487. This is Heck's so-called "favorable termination requirement."

    The Sixth Circuit concluded below that Heck's favorable termination requirement does not cover claims challenging parole procedures because success on those claims would not necessarily guarantee speedier release, but instead would provide only a new parole hearing. This raises the following questions:
  1. When a prisoner invokes 1983 to challenge parole proceedings, does Heck v. Humphrey's favorable termination requirement apply where success by the prisoner on the claim would result only in a new parole hearing and not necessarily guarantee earlier release from prison?

  2. Does a federal court judgment ordering a new parole hearing "necessarily imply the invalidity of" the decision at the previous parole hearing for purposes of Heck v. Humphrey?
Decisions:

Resources:


Briefs:

    Parties Counsel of Record

For Petitioners Wilkinson, et al.:

Douglas R. Cole
State Solicitor General
Columbus, OH
For Respondents Dotson, et al.:
Robert S. Walker
John Q. Lewis
Jones Day
Cleveland, OH


Thomas Joe Miller-El v. Doug Dretke, Director, Texas Dep't of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division
No. 03-9659

Subject:

    Peremptory Challenges, Jury Selection, Racial Discrimination, Arbitrary Fact-finding
Question:
    Whether the Court of Appeals—in reinstating on remand from this Court its prior rejection of petitioner's claim that the prosecution has purposefully excluded African-Americans from his capital jury in violation of Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986)—so contravened this Court's decision and analysis of the evidence in Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322 (2003), that "an exercise of this Court's supervisory powers" under Supreme Court Rule 10(a) is required to sustain the protections against invidious discrimination set forth in Batson and Miller-El and the safeguards against arbitrary fact-finding set forth in 28 U.S.C. 2254(d)(2) and (e)(l).
Decisions:

Resources:


Briefs:

    Parties Counsel of Record

For Petitioner Miller-El:

Jim Marcus
Texas Defender Service
Houston, TX
For Respondent Dretke:
Gena Blount Bunn
Assistant Attorney General
Austin, TX


Tuesday, December 7

Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor of Michigan, et al. v. Eleanor Heald, et al.
No. 03-1116

Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Ass'n v. Eleanor Heald, et al.
No. 03-1120

Juanita Swedenburg, et al. v. Edward D. Kelly, Chairman, New York Div. of Alcoholic Beverage Control, State Liquor Auth., et al.
No. 03-1274

Subject:

Question:

Does a State's regulatory scheme that permits in-state wineries directly to ship alcohol to consumers but restricts the ability of out-of-state wineries to do so violate the dormant Commerce Clause in light of Sec. 2 of the 21st Amendment?
Decisions:

Resources:


Briefs:

    Parties Counsel of Record

No. 03-1116

For Petitioners Granholm, et al.:

Thomas L. Casey
Solicitor General
Michigan Attorney General's Office
Lansing, MI
For Respondents Heald, et al.:
James A. Tanford
Bloomington, IN
No. 03-1120

For Petitioner Michigan Beer & Wine
    Wholesalers Ass'n:

Anthony S. Kogut
Willingham & Cote, P. C.
East Lansing, MI
For Respondents Heald, et al.:
James A. Tanford
Bloomington, IN

No. 03-1274

For Petitioners Swedenburg, et al.:
Clint Bolick
Washington, DC
For Respondents Kelly, et al.:
Miguel A. Estrada
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Washington, DC
For Respondent State of New York:
Caitlin Joan Halligan
Solicitor General
New York Attorney General's Office
New York, NY


Claude M. Ballard, et ux. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue
No. 03-184

Estate of Kanter, et al. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue
No. 03-1034 Subject:

Questions:

Ballard, et ux. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, No. 03-184

In this case, the trial was conducted by a Special Trial Judge employed at will by the Tax Court. The Special Trial Judge was required to create a report of factual and legal findings, but his original report has never been made available to the parties, the public, or the reviewing Article III courts. Instead, his superiors on the Tax Court either overruled his factual findings or persuaded him to change his mind, thus creating a factual finding of tax fraud. This entire process took place off the record, and came to light only in a subsequent conversation between two Tax Court judges and a counsel for another party.

The questions presented are:
  1. Whether this secretive process is consistent with the Due Process Clause or the right to effective Article III review?

  2. Whether this secretive process is consistent with 26 U.S.C. 7482, which provides that Article III courts must review Tax Court decisions just as they would decisions of a U.S. district court?
Estate of Kanter, et al. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, No. 03-1034

The Tax Court keeps secret, even from the reviewing courts of appeals, the findings of fact and credibility judgments of its special trial judges. By law, these trial judges are required to file reports containing findings of fact and opinion with the Tax Court. Tax Ct. R. 183(b). By law, these findings of fact "shall be presumed to be correct" and the Tax Court is required to give "due regard" to the circumstance that the trial judge "had the opportunity to evaluate the credibility of witnesses." Tax Ct. R. 183(c). Nonetheless, the Tax Court overturns the factual findings, including the credibility findings, of its trial judges without the record revealing those findings or that the Tax Court has overturned them. Secret trial judge reports preclude the courts of appeals from determining whether the Tax Court has complied with the legal constraints described above. Secret trial judge reports also preclude the courts of appeals from reviewing a Tax Court decision on the basis of the entire record on which that decision in fact rests. Federal statutes require that "all reports of the Tax Court * * * shall be public records." 26 U.S.C. 7461(a).

The questions presented are:
  1. Whether the due process clause or the governing federal statutes require that the courts of appeals be able to review Tax Court decisions on the basis of the complete record, including the trial judge's findings of fact that, by law, the Tax Court must presume to be correct.

  2. Whether Tax Court Rule 183 requires judges of the Tax Court to uphold findings of fact and credibility judgments made by their trial judges unless those findings are "clearly erroneous," as the D.C. Circuit has held, or are those findings and credibility judgments entitled to no deference at all, as the Seventh Circuit held in this case.
Decisions:

Resources:


Briefs:

    Parties Counsel of Record

For Petitioners Ballard, et ux.:

Vester T. Hughes, Jr.
Hughes & Luce
Dallas, TX
For Petitioners Estate of Kanter, et al.:
Richard H. Pildes
Cambridge, MA
For Respondent Commissioner of Internal Revenue:
Paul D. Clement
Acting U.S. Solicitor General
Washington, DC


Wednesday, December 8

Ann M. Veneman, Secretary of Agriculture, et al. v. Livestock Marketing, et al.
No. 03-1164

Nebraska Cattlemen, Inc., et al. v. Livestock Marketing, et al.
No. 03-1165

Subject:

Questions:

Veneman, et al. v. Livestock Marketing, et al., No. 03-1164

Whether the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 (Beef Act), 7 U.S.C. 2901 et seq., and the implementing Beef Promotion and Research Order (Beef Order), 7 C.F.R. Part 1260, violate the First Amendment insofar as they require cattle producers to pay assessments to fund generic advertising with which they disagree.

Nebraska Cattlemen, Inc., et al. v. Livestock Marketing, et al., No. 03-1165

Whether the Eighth Circuit erred in holding that the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 ("Beef Act"), 7 U.S.C. 2901 et seq., and regulations promulgated thereunder—which impose assessments on beef producers and importers to fund research, education, and promotional activities carried out by special administrative bodies created by Congress for the express purpose of furthering important governmental objectives under the direct supervision and control of the Secretary of Agriculture—are "unconstitutional and unenforceable."
Decisions:

Resources:


Briefs:

Parties Counsel of Record

For Petitioners Veneman, et al.:

Paul D. Clement
Acting U.S. Solicitor General
Washington, DC
For Petitioners Nebraska Cattlemen, Inc., et al.
Lorane F. Hebert
Hogan & Hartson, L.L.P.
Washington, DC
For Respondents Livestock Mktg. Ass'n, et al.:
Ronald A. Parsons, Jr.
Johnson, Heidepriem, Miner,
  Marlow & Janklow, LLP
Sioux Falls, SD

Philip C. Olsson
Olsson Frank and Weeda
Washington, DC


Darin L. Muehler, et al. v. Iris Mena
No. 03-1423

Subject:

    Search & Seizure, Police Questioning, Authority to Detain
Questions:
  1. Whether, in light of this Court's repeated holdings that mere police questioning does not constitute a seizure, the Ninth Circuit erred in ruling that law enforcement officers who have lawfully detained an individual pursuant to a valid search warrant engage in an additional, unconstitutional "seizure" if they ask that person questions about criminal activity without probable cause to believe that the person is or has engaged in such activity.

  2. Whether, in light of this Court's ruling in Michigan v. Summers, 452 U.S. 692 (1981), that a valid search warrant carries with it the implicit authority to detain occupants while the search is conducted, the Ninth Circuit erred in ruling that a two to three hour detention of the occupant of a suspected gang safe-house while officers searched for concealed weapons and other evidence of a gang-related drive-by shooting was unconstitutional because the occupant was initially detained at gun-point and handcuffed for the duration of the search.
Decisions:

Resources:


Briefs:

Parties Counsel of Record

For Petitioners Muehler, et al.:

Carter G. Phillips
Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP
Washington, DC
For Respondent Mena:
Paul L. Hoffman
Schonbrun DeSimone Seplow Harris Hoffman
Venice, CA


 

 

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