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Supreme Court Docket



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March 2004

[Download Argument Calendar for March 1-3, 2004 (PDF)]
[Download Argument Calendar for March 22-31, 2004 (PDF)]
[Click here for 2002 Docket]

Monday, March 1


Tennessee Student Assistance Corp. v. Pamela L. Hood
No. 02-1606

Subject:

    Bankruptcy Clause, Sovereign Immunity, Federalism
Question:
    Whether Congress has the authority to abrogate state sovereign immunity under the Bankruptcy Clause of Article I, U.S. Const., art. I, 8, cl 4.
Decisions:

Resources:

Briefs:

    Parties
  • Petitioner (Petition) [PDF]

  • Petitioner (Merits) [PDF]
  • Respondent (Merits) [PDF]
  • Petitioner - Reply (Merits) [PDF]


Michael Yarborough, Warden v. Michael Alvarado
No. 02-1684

Subject:

    Fifth Amendment, Miranda Rights, Custodial Interrogation, Juvenile Defendant
Questions:
  1. Whether, in applying the objective test for a "custody" determination under Miranda, a court must consider the age and experience of a person if he or she is a juvenile.

  2. Whether a state court adjudication can be deemed an "objectively reasonable" application of clearly established Supreme Court precedent, for purposes of 28 U.S.C. 2254(d), because it declines to "extend" the rule of a Supreme Court precedent to a new context.
Decisions:

Resources:

Briefs:

    Parties
  • Petitioner (Petition) [PDF] (2.3 MB)

  • Petitioner (Merits) [PDF] (1.9 MB)
  • Respondent (Merits) [PDF]
  • Petitioner - Reply (Merits) [PDF] (1 MB)
  • Respondent - Supplemental Brief (Merits) [PDF]


Tuesday, March 2


Doug Dretke, Director, Texas Department Of Criminal Justice v. Michael W. Haley
No. 02-1824

Subject:

    Habeas Corpus, Procedural Default, Actual Innocence, Criminal Law
Question:
    Whether the "actual innocence" exception to the procedural default rule concerning federal habeas corpus claims should apply to noncapital sentencing error.
Decisions:

Resources:

Briefs:

  • Petitioner (Petition) [PDF]

  • Petitioner (Merits) [PDF]
  • Respondent (Merits) [PDF]
  • Petitioner - Reply (Merits) [PDF]


John Ashcroft, U.S. Attorney General v. American Civil Liberties Union, et al.
No. 03-218

Subject:

Question: Decisions:

Resources:

Briefs:

    Parties
  • Petitioner (Petition) [PDF] [TEXT]
  • Petitioner - Appendix (Petition) [PDF] [TEXT]
  • Respondents - Opposition (Petition) [PDF] (4.9 MB)
  • Petitioner - Reply (Petition) [PDF] [TEXT]

  • Petitioner (Merits) [PDF] [TEXT]
  • Respondents (Merits) [PDF]
  • Petitioner - Reply (Merits) [PDF] [TEXT]

    Amicus - Petitioner
  • American Center for Law and Justice, U.S. Representatives Aderholt, Akin, et al. (Merits) [PDF]
  • Focus on the Family and Family Research Council (Merits) [PDF]
  • Morality in Media, Inc. (Merits) [PDF]
  • U.S. Senators John McCain, Michael Oxley, et al. (Merits) [PDF]
  • WallBuilders, Inc. (Merits) [PDF]

    Amicus - Respondents
  • American Society of Journalists and Authors, et al. (Merits) [PDF]
  • Associaion of American Publishers, Inc., Center for Democracy and Technology, et al. (Merits) [PDF]
  • Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, et al. (Merits) [PDF]


Wednesday, March 3


Basim O. Sabri v. United States
No. 03-44

Subject:

    Bribery, Congressional Authority, Federal Funds, Criminal Law
Question:
    Does 18 U.S.C. 666(a)(2) criminalize acts of bribery lacking a nexus to a federal interest, and does it exceed Congress' limited power under the Constitution?
Decisions:

Resources:

Briefs:

    Parties
  • Respondent - Opposition (Petition) [PDF] [TEXT]

  • Petitioner (Merits) [PDF]
  • Respondent (Merits) [PDF] [TEXT]
  • Petitioner - Reply (Merits) [PDF]


Grupo Dataflux v. Atlas Global Group, et al.
No. 02-1689

Subject:

    Diversity Jurisdiction
Question:
  1. Did the court of appeals err by creating a new exception to the longstanding rule that diversity jurisdiction must be determined based on a party's citizenship and circumstances as they existed at the time suit was filed?

  2. Did the court of appeals err by allowing a unilateral change in a party's citizenship during the course of litigation to create diversity jurisdiction that did not exist at the time suit was filed?
Decisions:

Resources:

Briefs:

    Parties
  • Petitioner (Petition) [PDF] (2.7 MB)
  • Respondents - Opposition (Petition) [PDF] (2 MB)
  • Petitioner - Reply (Petition) [PDF]

  • Petitioner (Merits) [PDF]
  • Joint Appendix (Merits) [PDF]
  • Respondents (Merits) [PDF]
  • Petitioner - Reply (Merits) [PDF]


Monday, March 22


Robert J. Tennard v. Doug Dretke, Director, Texas Department Of Criminal Justice
No. 02-10038

Robert Smith v. Doug Dretke, Director, Texas Department Of Criminal Justice
No. 02-11309

Subject:

    Death Penalty, Sixth Amendment, Ineffective Assistance of Counsel, Eighth Amendment, Cruel and Unusual Punishment, Mental Retardation, Criminal Law
Questions:
    Tennard v. Dretke (No. 02-10038):

  1. Is the Fifth Circuit's rule requiring a "nexus" to the crime before evidence of impaired intellectual functioning and judgment can be considered as mitigation for purposes of determining whether there is a violation of Penry v. Lynaugh, 492 U.S. 302 (1989) (Penry I), inconsistent with the rationale of Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002)?

  2. Did the Fifth Circuit err in resolving the plainly substantial question of the effect of Atkins on the Fifth Circuit nexus rule by denying a COA, rather than granting a COA and giving the substantive issue the merits consideration it deserves?
    Smith v. Dretke (No. 02-11309):

    Did the Court of Appeals misapply Penry v. Johnson, 532 U.S. 782 (2001) by imposing a requirement that evidence demonstrate a "uniquely severe permanent handicap" in order for a Texas capital murder defendant to claim that a "nullification" instruction was improper?

Decisions:

Resources:

Briefs:

    Parties - Tennard v. Dretke, No. 02-10038
  • Petitioner Tennard (Merits) [PDF]
  • Respondent Dretke (Merits) [PDF]
  • Petitioner Tennard - Reply (Merits) [PDF]

    Parties - Smith v. Dretke, No. 02-11309
  • Petitioner Smith (Petition) [PDF] (6.1 MB)

  • Petitioner Smith (Merits) [PDF]
  • Respondent Dretke (Merits) [PDF]


Larry D. Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, Humboldt County
No. 03-5554

Subject:

    Fourth Amendment, Identification, Privacy, Criminal Law
Question:
    Do the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the United States constitution bar the state from compelling people to identify themselves during a police investigation when someone has been seized upon less than probable cause?
Decisions:

Resources:

Briefs:

    Parties
  • Petitioner (Petition) [PDF]
  • Respondent - Opposition (Petition) [PDF]
  • Petitioner - Reply (Petition) [PDF]

  • Petitioner (Merits) [PDF]
  • Respondent (Merits) [PDF]
  • Petitioner - Reply (Merits) [PDF]

    Amicus - Petitioner
  • American Civil Liberties Union (Merits) [PDF]
  • Cato Institute (Merits) [PDF]
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation (Merits) [PDF] (1.5 MB)
  • Electronic Privacy Information Center, et al. (Merits) [PDF]
  • John Gilmore (Merits) [PDF]
  • National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, et al. (Merits) [PDF]
  • PrivacyActivism, et al. (Merits) [PDF]

    Amicus - Respondent
  • Criminal Justice Legal Foundation (Merits) [PDF]
  • National Association of Police Organizations (Merits) [PDF] (2.6 MB)
  • United States (Merits) [PDF] [TEXT]


Tuesday, March 23


Ralph Howard Blakely, Jr. v. State of Washington
No. 02-1632

Subject:

    Fifth Amendment, Sixth Amendment, Due Process, Sentencing, Jury Trial
Question:
    Whether a fact (other than a prior conviction) necessary for an upward departure from a statutory standard sentencing range must be proved according to the procedures mandated by Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000).
Decisions:

Resources:

Briefs:

    Parties
  • Petitioner (Merits) [PDF]
  • Respondent (Merits) [PDF]
  • Petitioner - Reply (Merits) [PDF]


Aetna Health Inc., f/k/a Aetna U.S. Healthcare Inc., etc. v. Juan Davila
No. 02-1845

CIGNA HealthCare of Texas, Inc., d/b/a CIGNA Corporation v. Ruby R. Calad, et al.
No. 03-83

Subject:

Question: Decisions:

Resources:

Briefs:

    Parties
  • Petitioner Aetna Health Inc. (Petition) [PDF]

  • Petitioner Aetna Health Inc. (Merits) [PDF]
  • Petitioner CIGNA HealthCare of Texas, Inc. (Merits) [PDF]
  • Respondents Davila and Calad (Merits) [PDF]
  • Petitioner Aetna Health Inc. - Reply (Merits) [PDF]
  • Petitioner Aetna Health Inc. - Appendix (Merits) [PDF]

    Amicus - Petitioner
  • American Association of Health Care Plans, Inc., et al. (Petition) [PDF]


Wednesday, March 24


City of Littleton, Colorado v. Z.J. Gifts D-4, LLC, etc.
No. 02-1609

Subject:

    First Amendment, Prompt Judicial Review, Adult Business Licensing
Question:
    Whether the requirement of prompt judicial review imposed by FW/PBS, Inc. v. Dallas, 493 U.S. 215 (1990) entails a prompt judicial determination or a prompt commencement of judicial proceedings.
Decisions:

Resources:

Briefs:

  • Petitioner (Petition) [PDF]

  • Petitioner (Merits) [PDF]
  • Respondents (Merits) [PDF]
  • Petitioner - Reply (Merits) [PDF]


Elk Grove Unified School District v. Michael A. Newdow, et al.
No. 02-1624

Subject:

    Pledge of Allegiance, First Amendment, Establishment Clause
Question:
  1. Whether respondent has standing to challenge as unconstitutional a public school district policy that requires teachers to lead willing students in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

  2. Whether a public school district policy that requires teachers to lead willing students in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, which includes the words "under God," violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, as applicable through the Fourteenth Amendment.
Decisions:

Resources:

Briefs:
Counsel of Record

For Petitioner Elk Grove Unified School Dist.:
Terence J. Cassidy
Porter, Scott, Weiberg & Delehant
Sacramento, CA
For Respondent Newdow:
Michael A. Newdow, Pro Se
Sacramento, CA
For the United States:
Theodore Olson
Solicitor General of the United States
Washington, DC


Monday, March 29


Gale Norton, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, et al. v. Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
No. 03-101

Subject:

    Administrative Procedure Act, Public Lands, Environment
Question:
    Whether the authority of the federal courts under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 706(1), to "compel agency action unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed" extends to review of the adequacy of an agency's ongoing management of public lands under general statutory standards and its own land use plans.
Decisions:

Resources:

Briefs:


David L. Nelson v. Donal Campbell, Comm'r, Alabama Dept. of Corrections, et al.
No. 03-6821

Subject:

    Civil Rights, Habeas Corpus, Death Penalty, Criminal Law
Question:
    Whether a complaint brought under 42 U.S.C. 1983 by a death-sentenced state prisoner, who seeks to stay his execution in order to pursue a challenge to the procedures for carrying out the execution, is properly recharacterized as a habeas corpus petition under 28 U.S.C. 2254.
Decisions:

Resources:

Briefs:


Tuesday, March 30


Jay S. Johnson v. California
No. 03-6539

Subject:

    Fourteenth Amendment, Equal Protection, Jury Selection, Peremptory Challenges, Criminal Law & Procedure
Question:
    Whether to establish a prima facie case under Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986), the objector must show that it is more likely than not the other party's peremptory challenges, if unexplained, were based on impermissible group bias.
Decisions:

Resources:

Briefs:


Jose F. Sosa v. Humberto Alvarez-Machain, et al.
No. 03-339

United States v. Humberto Alvarez-Machain
No. 03-485

Subject:

Questions - Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain, No. 03-339:
  1. Whether the ATS, is simply a grant of jurisdiction, or whether, in addition to granting jurisdiction, it provides a cause of action upon which aliens may sue for torts in violation of the law of nations or treaties of the United States, or authorizes federal courts to exercise federal common lawmaking powers to create federal remedies for such torts.

  2. If it is proper to imply or create a cause of action under the ATS, whether those actions should be limited to suits for violations of international legal norms to which the United States has assented.

  3. Whether a detention that lasts less than 24 hours, results in no physical harm to the detainee, and is undertaken by a private individual under instructions from senior United States law enforcement officials, constitutes a tort in violation of the law of nations actionable under the ATS.
Questions - United States v. Alvarez-Machain, No. 03-485:
  1. Whether federal law enforcement officers, and agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration in particular, have authority to enforce a federal criminal statute that applies to acts perpetrated against a United States official in a foreign country by arresting an indicted criminal suspect on probable cause in a foreign country.

  2. Whether an individual arrested in a foreign country may bring an action under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(b), 2671, et seq., for false arrest, notwithstanding the FTCA's exclusion of "[a]ny claim arising in a foreign country," 28 U.S.C. § 2680(k), because the arrest was planned in the United States.
Decisions:

Resources:

Briefs:


Wednesday, March 31


Pennsylvania State Police v. Nancy D. Suders
No. 03-95

Subject:

    Sexual Harassment, Constructive Discharge, Affirmative Defense
Question: Decisions:

Resources:

Briefs:


Marcus Thornton v. United States
No. 03-5165

Subject:

    Fourth Amendment, Warrantless Search of Car, Search Incident to Custodial Arrest, Criminal Law
Question:
    Whether New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454 (1981), which established a brightline rule authorizing a search of a car's passenger compartment incident to the contemporaneous lawful arrest of an occupant therein, also authorizes a warrantless search of a car when the arrestee was not in the car when the police initiated contact with him or within reaching distance of the car at the time of his arrest.
Decisions:

Resources:

Briefs:

 


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