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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.
MONDAY, APRIL 17 Washington v. Reeder-Simco GMC Inc. No. 05-83 Certiorari to the Supreme Court of Washington. Question presented: Should error during enhancing sentencing be considered harmless if it is shown beyond a reasonable doubt that the error did not contribute to the verdict? For petitioner: James Whisman, senior deputy prosecuting attorney, Seattle, and Patricia Millett, assistant to the solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (as amicus curiae) For respondent: Gregory Link, Washington Appellate Project, Seattle (appointed by the Court). Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Co. v. Sheila White No. 05-259 Certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Question presented: Can an employer be held liable for retaliatory discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act for any adverse treatment that was “likely to deter” the plaintiff from engaging in protected activity, or is the employer only liable for an “ultimate employment decision”? For petitioner: Gregory Garre, deputy solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. For respondent: Donald Donati, Donati Law Firm, Memphis, Tenn.
TUESDAY, APRIL 18 United States v. Cuauhtemoc Gonzalez-Lopez No. 05-352 Certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. Question presented: Does a district court’s denial of a criminal defendant’s right to be represented by counsel of choice require an automatic reversal of his conviction? For petitioner: Michael Dreeben, deputy solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. For respondent: Jeffrey Fisher, Davis Wright Tremaine, Seattle. Jacob Zedner v. United States No. 05-5992 Certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. Questions presented: Can requirements of the Speedy Trial Act be waived only due to circumstances mentioned in the statute? Is violation of the act’s 70-day time limit for bringing a defendant to trial subject to harmless-error analysis? For petitioner: Edward Zas, Federal Defenders of New York, New York (appointed by the Court). For respondent: Daryl Joseffer, assistant to the solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19 Arlington Central School District Board of Education v. Pearl Murphy, et vir. No. 05-18 Certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. Question presented: Does the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act allow a court to award “expert” attorney fees to parents of a disabled child as part of the costs? For petitioner: Raymond Kuntz, Kuntz, Spagnuolo, Scapoli & Schiro, Bedford Village, N.Y., and David Salmons, assistant to the solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (as amicus curiae) For respondent: David Vladeck, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C. Eric Michael Clark v. Arizona No. 05-5966 Certiorari to the Court of Appeals for Arizona. Questions presented: Does Arizona insanity law violate Clark’s right to due process under the 14th Amendment? Does Arizona’s blanket exclusion of evidence and refusal to consider mental disease or defect violate Clark’s right to due process under the 14th Amendment? For petitioner: David Goldberg, Flagstaff, Ariz. (appointed by the Court) For respondent: Randall Howe, chief counsel, Office of the Attorney General, Phoenix, and Paul Clement, solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (as amicus curiae)
MONDAY, APRIL 24 Brigham City, Utah v. Charles W. Stuart, et al. No. 05-502 Certiorari to the Supreme Court of Utah. Questions presented: Does the “emergency aid exception” to the warrant requirement recognized in Mincey v. Arizona trigger an officer’s subjective motivation for entering the home? Was the gravity of the “emergency” enough to justify, under the 4th Amendment, the officer’s entry into the home to stop a fight? For petitioner: Jeffrey Gray, Utah assistant attorney general, Salt Lake City, and Paul McNulty, deputy attorney general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (as amicus curiae) For respondents: Michael Studebaker, Michael P. Studebaker, Ogden, Utah. Carl Kircher, et al. v. Putnam Funds Trust, et al. No. 05-409 Certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Question presented: Can a party appeal a district judge’s decision to remand a case to state court pursuant to the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998? For petitioners: David Frederick, Kellogg Huber Hansen, Washington, D.C. For respondents: Mark Perry, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Washington, D.C.
TUESDAY, APRIL 25 Keshia Cherie Ashford Dixon v. United States No. 05-7053 Certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. Question presented: When a citizen uses the duress defense, should the burden of proof be on the government to prove the defendant was not under duress? For petitioner: J. Craig Jett, Dallas (appointed by the Court). For respondent: Irving Gornstein, assistant to the solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. Empire Healthchoice Assurance Inc., dba Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield v. Denise F. McVeigh, As Administratrix of the Estate of Joseph E. McVeigh No. 05-200 Certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. Question presented: Does federal jurisdiction exist over a suit by a federal government contractor to enforce a provision in a health benefits plan for federal employees that is part of a government contract under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act? For petitioner: Anthony Shelley, Miller & Chevalier, Washington, D.C., and Sri Srinivasan, assistant to the solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (as amicus curiae) For respondent: Thomas Stock, Mineola, N.Y. Kansas v. Michael Lee Marsh II No. 04-1170 Certiorari to the Supreme Court of Kansas. Questions presented: Does it violate the Constitution when a state capital sentencing statute imposes the death penalty when the sentencing jury determines that the mitigating and aggravating evidence is equally balanced? Does the Court have jurisdiction to review the judgment of the Kansas Supreme Court? Was the Kansas Supreme Court’s judgment adequately supported by a ground independent of federal law? For petitioner: Phill Kline, attorney general, Topeka, Kan. For respondent: Rebecca Woodman, Capital Appellate Defender Office, Topeka, Kan.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26 Clarence E. Hill v. James R. McDonough, Interim Secretary, Florida Department of Corrections, et al. No. 05-8794 Certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Questions presented: Can someone sentenced to death seek to stay his execution to pursue a challenge to the chemicals used for carrying out the execution? Can someone challenge a particular protocol the state plans to use during the execution process? For petitioner: D. Todd Doss, Hunt & Doss, Lake City, Fla. For respondents: Carolyn Snurkowski, assistant deputy attorney general, Tallahassee, Fla., and Kannon Shanmugam, assistant to the solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (as amicus curiae) Mohawk Industries Inc. v. Shirley Williams, et al. No. 05-465 Certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Question presented: Does a defendant corporation and its agents constitute an “enterprise” under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act? For petitioner: Carter Phillips, Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, Washington, D.C. For respondents: Howard Foster, Johnson & Bell, Chicago, and Malcolm Stewart, assistant to the solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (as amicus curiae)

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