Public Citizen Litigation Group Supreme Court Assistance Project

View our complete watch list
for the January 22nd Conference.

Our list includes many important cases on a wide range of topics. Read the entire list or use the clickable links in the Index to go right to cases on topics that interest you.

On Friday, January 15th, the Court met for its eleventh conference of the 2009 Term. At that conference, the Court granted five cases, summarily reversed two cases, granted, vacated, and remanded seven cases, and denied the petitions in many more. Notable cases on which the Court took action include:

    • 09-337 Krupski v. Costa Crociere S.P.A., on whether an amended complaint can "relate back" under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to add a defendant when the plaintiff had imputed knowledge of the identity of the added defendant prior to filing suit. (Cert. granted)
    • 09-448 Hardt v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co., on whether a party to an ERISA action must be a "prevailing party" in order to recover attorney's fees. (Cert. granted)
    • 09-475 Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, on whether the lower court erred in granting a preliminary injunction to remedy a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act. (Cert. granted)
            Scott Nelson and Allison Zieve of Public Citizen         are co-counsel for respondent.
    • 09-497 Rent-A-Center, West, Inc. v. Jackson, on whether a district court can set aside an arbitration agreement as unconscionable under some circumstances even when the arbitration agreement assigns the issue of unconscionability to the arbitrator for decision. (Cert. granted)
    • 09-599 Doe v. Reed, on whether the First Amendment prevents the public release of names and contact information of the signers of an anti-gay rights petition. (Cert. granted)
    • 09-5270 Presley v. Georgia, addressing a defendant's claim that he was denied his right to a public trial under the Sixth Amendment when the court expelled an observer due to supposed overcrowding and without considering alternatives. (Summary reversal)
    • 09-5731 Wellons v. Hall, on whether the Eleventh Circuit erred in finding that the petitioner had procedurally defaulted on his claims of juror and judge misconduct. (Summary reversal)
    • 07-1483 Patrick v. Smith, addressing the Ninth Circuit's grant of habeas corpus after the Supreme Court granted, vacated, and remanded an earlier habeas grant on insufficiency of the evidence grounds in the same case. (GVR)
    • 08-652 Beard v. Abu-Jamal, on whether the Third Circuit's grant of habeas corpus failed to find a violation of "clearly established law" as required by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. (GVR)
    • 08-7757 Watts v. U.S./09-122 Hunter v. U.S., on whether the carrying a concealed weapon constitutes a “violent felony” for purposes of enhanced recidivist sentencing under the Armed Career Criminal Act. (GVR)
    • 09-5370 Vazquez v. U.S., on whether a district court can enter a sentence departing from sentencing guidelines because of its policy disagreement with the career offender guideline. (GVR)
    • 09-5995 Johnson v. U.S., addressing the standard of proof required to convict on certain drug distribution and facilitation claims. (GVR).
    • 09-7408 Linton v. U.S., addressing the claims of a defendant sentenced under the Sentencing Guidelines that existed before United States v. Booker. (GVR)
    • 09-549 U.S. v. Smith, on whether the Inmate Accident Compensation Act bars a plaintiff from bringing a Bivens suit based on the same injury. (Cert. denied)

In addition, since our last Watch List the Court called for the views of the Solicitor General in one case:

    • 09-529 Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy v. Reinhard, on whether the Eleventh Amendment prohibits a state agency from bringing a federal court action against state officials for prospective injunctive relief.

The Court's next conference is on Friday, January 22nd. Petitions of note to be considered at that conference include:

    • 09-35 Noriega v. Pastrana, addressing Manuel Noriega's claims under the Military Commissions Act and the Geneva Convention. (Re-listed ten times)
    • 09-329 Chase Bank v. McCoy, on whether the Federal Reserve Board's "Regulation Z" requires a change in terms notice when the interest rates of a credit card holder are raised in response to the cardholder's default. (Re-listed twice)
            Deepak Gupta and Allison Zieve of Public Citizen         are co-counsel for respondent.
    • 09-350 County of Los Angeles v. Humphries, on whether a plaintiff can recover attorney's fees after obtaining only declaratory relief against a local public entity. (Re-listed once)
    • 09-438 Providence Hosp. and Medical Centers v. Moses, on whether the anti-patient dumping provisions of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act apply after a patient has been admitted as a hospital inpatient. (Re-listed once)

For a list of all cases granted so far for the 2009 Term, Supreme Court's website.

View the full watch list.

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About This List

Public Citizen has created this listserv to raise awareness of public interest issues presented to the U.S. Supreme Court. Before each Supreme Court conference, we send the list an update on pending Cert. Petitions of Public Interest, including both petitions we're monitoring and some petitions where Public Citizen Litigation Group is providing pro bono legal assistance.

For More Information:

Brian Bilford
2009-2010 SCAP Fellow
Alan Morrison Supreme Court Assistance Project
Public Citizen Litigation Group
(202) 588-7727

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