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Cases coming before the Supreme Court in the coming weeks and the lawyers who will argue them. “Docket Watch” appears at the beginning of each two-week argument cycle when the high court hears cases.
TUESDAY, FEB. 21 John Rapanos, et al. v. United States No. 04-1034 June Carabell, et al. v. Army Corps of Engineers, et al. No. 04-1384 Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Questions presented: (1) Whether the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers acted reasonably in interpreting the term “waters of the United States” as it appears in the Clean Water Act. (2) Whether the application of the CWA to the wetland at issue in this case is a permissible exercise of congressional authority under the commerce clause. For petitioners: Timothy Stoepker, Dickinson Wright, Detroit. For respondent: Paul Clement, solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. S.D. Warren Co. v. Maine Board of Environmental Protection No. 04-1527 Certiorari to the Supreme Court of Maine. Question presented: Does the mere flow of water through an existing dam constitute a “discharge” under the Clean Water Act, despite the Supreme Court’s 2004 holding in South Florida Water Management District v. Miccosukee Tribe of Indians that a discharge requires the addition of water from a distinct body of water? For petitioner: William Kayatta Jr., Pierce Atwood, Portland, Maine. For respondent: Steven Rowe, attorney general, Augusta, Maine, and Jeffrey Minear, assistant to the solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (as amicus curiae)
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 22 Donald Curtis Samson v. California No. 04-9728 Certiorari to the California Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit. Question presented: Does the 4th Amendment prohibit police from conducting a warrantless search of a person who is subject to a parole search condition, where there is no suspicion of criminal wrongdoing and the sole reason for the search is because the person is on parole? For petitioner: Robert Long Jr., Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C. For respondent: Ronald Niver, Office of the Attorney General, San Francisco, and Jonathan Marcus, assistant to the solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (as amicus curiae) Bobby Lee Holmes v. South Carolina No. 04-1327 Certiorari to the Supreme Court of South Carolina. Question presented: Whether a state’s rule governing admissibility of third-party-guilt evidence violates a criminal defendant’s constitutional right to present a complete defense grounded in due process, confrontation, and compulsory-process clauses. For petitioner: John Blume, Cornell Law School, Ithaca, N.Y. For respondent: (Tentative) Donald Zelenka, assistant deputy attorney general, Office of the Attorney General, Columbia, S.C.
MONDAY, FEB. 27 Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services, et al. v. Heidi Ahlborn No. 04-1506 Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. Question presented: Whether federal Medicaid statutes, which provide for the assignment of rights to third-party payments but prohibit placing a lien on a Medicaid recipient’s property, limit the state’s recovery to only those portions of the payments made for medical expenses. For petitioners: Lori Freno-Engman, Office of the Attorney General, Little Rock, Ark., and Patricia Millett, assistant to the solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (as amicus curiae) For respondent: H. David Blair, Blair & Stroud, Batesville, Ark. Patrick Day v. James Crosby Jr., secretary, Florida Department of Corrections No. 04-1324 Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Questions presented: (1) Does the state waive a limitations defense to a habeas corpus petition when it fails to plead or otherwise raise that defense and expressly concedes that the petition was timely? (2) Does habeas Rule 4 permit a district court to dismiss a habeas petition on its own motion after the state has filed an answer based on a ground not raised in the answer? For petitioner: Brett Busby, Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, Houston. For respondent: Christopher Kise, solicitor general, Tallahassee Fla., and Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, assistant to the solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (as amicus curiae)
TUESDAY, FEB. 28 Neil Randall, et al. v. William H. Sorrell, et al. No. 04-1528 Vermont Republican Committee, et al. v. William H. Sorrell, et al. No. 04-1530 William H. Sorrell v. Neil Randall, et al. No. 04-1697 Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. Questions presented: (1) Whether Vermont’s mandatory limits on candidate expenditures violate the First and 14th amendments and the Supreme Court’s decision in Buckley v. Valeo. (2) Whether Vermont’s treatment of independent expenditures by political parties and committees — presumptively coordinated if they benefit fewer than six candidates and thereby subject to strict contribution and expenditure limits — is consistent with the First and 14th amendments and the Supreme Court’s decision in Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee v. FEC. (3) Whether Vermont’s contribution limits fall below an acceptable constitutional threshold and should be struck down. For petitioners: James Bopp Jr., Bopp, Coleson & Bostrom, Terre Haute, Ind. For respondents: William Sorrell, attorney general, Montpelier, Vt., and Brenda Wright, National Voting Rights Institute, Boston. Vicki Lynn Marshall v. E. Pierce Marshall No. 04-1544 Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Questions presented: (1) What is the scope of the probate exception to federal jurisdiction? (2) Did Congress intend the probate exception to apply where a federal court is not asked to probate a will, administer an estate, or otherwise assume control of property in the custody of a state probate court? (3) Did Congress intend the probate exception to apply to cases arising under the Constitution, laws or treaties of the United States, including the Bankruptcy Code, or is it limited to cases in which jurisdiction is based on diversity of citizenship? (4) Did Congress intend the probate exception to apply to cases arising out of trusts, or is it limited to cases involving wills? For petitioner: Kent Richland, Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland, Los Angeles, and Deanne Maynard, assistant to the solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (as amicus curiae) For respondent: Eric Brunstad, Bingham McCutchen, Hartford, Conn.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1 DaimlerChrysler Corp., et al. v. Charlotte Cuno, et al. No. 04-1704 William W. Wilkins, tax commissioner for the state of Ohio, et al. v. Charlotte Cuno, et al. No. 04-1724 Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Questions presented: (1) Whether Ohio’s investment tax credit, which seeks to encourage economic development by providing a credit to taxpayers who install new manufacturing machinery and equipment in the state, violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. (2) Does the dormant commerce clause allow a state to attempt to attract new business investment in the state by offering credits against the state’s general corporate franchise or income tax, where the amount of the credit is based on the amount of the business’s new investment in the state? (3) Whether Cuno has standing to challenge Ohio’s investment tax credit law. For petitioners: (Tentative) Theodore Olson, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Washington, D.C., and Douglas Cole, state solicitor, Columbus, Ohio. For respondents: Peter Enrich, Northeastern University School of Law, Boston. Northern Insurance Company of New York v. Chatham County, Georgia No. 04-1618 Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Question presented: Whether an entity that does not qualify as “an arm of the state” for 11th Amendment purposes can nonetheless assert sovereign immunity as a defense to an admiralty action. For petitioner: Miguel Estrada, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Washington, D.C. For respondent: Jonathan Hart, Chatham County attorney, Savannah, Ga., and Dan Himmelfarb, assistant to the solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (as amicus curiae) League of United Latin American Citizens, et al. v. Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, et al. No. 05-204 Travis County, Texas, et al. v. Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, et al. No. 05-254 Eddie Jackson, et al. v. Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, et al. No. 05-276 GI Forum of Texas, et al. v. Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, et al. No. 05-439 Certiorari granted from the U.S.D.C. Eastern District of Texas. Question presented: Does the Texas Legislature’s 2003 replacement of a legally valid congressional districting plan with a statewide plan — enacted for “the sole-minded purposes” of gaining partisan advantage — satisfy the stringent constitutional rule? For petitioners: Paul Smith, Jenner & Block, Washington, D.C., and Nina Perales, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, San Antonio, Texas. For respondents: (Tentative) Ted Cruz, solicitor general, Austin, Texas, and Gregory Garre, deputy solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (as amicus curiae)

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