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Below are 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, FEB. 19 Court closed for legal holiday.
TUESDAY, FEB. 20 • Rita v. United States No. 06-5754 Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. Question presented: Did the Court of Appeals set up de facto mandatory guidelines, diverging from the standards set in United States v. Booker, and in so doing encourage district courts to sentence only within the recommended guidelines? For petitioner: Thomas Cochran, assistant federal public defender, Greensboro, N.C. For respondent: Michael Dreeben, deputy solicitor general, Justice Department, Washington, D.C. • Claiborne v. United States No. 06-5618 Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. Questions presented: Does an appellate court create mandatory sentencing guidelines when it considers the recommended guidelines as “reasonable” without giving “substantial deference” to the sentencing judge who has ruled outside the guideline range? Did the appeals court properly apply the “reasonableness” standard of United States v. Booker? For petitioner: Michael Dwyer, assistant federal public defender, St. Louis. For respondent: Michael Dreeben, deputy solicitor general, Justice Department, Washington, D.C.
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 21 • Microsoft Corp. v. AT&T Corp. No. 05-1056 Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Questions presented: Is digital software code, called binary code, “a component of a patented invention” within U.S. patent law? Is that binary code, if copied and manufactured in a foreign country, deemed to have been supplied from the United States? For petitioner: Theodore Olson, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Washington, D.C. For respondent: Seth Waxman, WilmerHale, Washington, D.C.
MONDAY, FEB. 26 • EC Term of Years Trust v. United States No. 05-1541 Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. Question presented: May a person who is not the assessed taxpayer use 28 U.S.C.�1346 to regain funds seized in a wrongful levy when that person could have used the wrongful-levy procedure outlined in 26 U.S.C.�7426? For petitioner: Francis Ainsa Jr., Ainsa Hutson, El Paso, Texas. For respondent: Deanne Maynard, assistant to the solicitor general, Justice Department, Washington, D.C. • Scott v. Harris No. 05-1631 Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Questions presented: Can a law-enforcement officer’s actions be considered “objectively reasonable” under the Fourth Amendment when the officer decides to end a high-speed chase by rear-ending a suspect who is driving at dangerous speeds with reckless disregard for other drivers? And, at the time of this incident, was the law “clearly established,” even though no other court had ruled on the Fourth Amendment implications in this type of case? For petitioner: Philip Savrin, Freeman Mathis & Gary, Atlanta. For respondent: Craig Jones, Edmond & Jones, Atlanta.
TUESDAY, FEB. 27 • Winkelman, et al. v. Parma City School District No. 05-983 Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Question presented: Can nonlawyer parents of a disabled child prosecute pro se under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in federal court? For petitioners: Jean-Claude Andr�, Ivey, Smith & Ramirez, Los Angeles. For respondent: Pierre Bergeron, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, Cincinnati.
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 28 • Hein, et al. v. Freedom From Religion Foundation Inc., et al. No. 06-157 Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Questions presented: In a case where executive-branch officials are carrying out an executive order, do taxpayers have standing to claim that the action, which was not specifically mandated by Congress, violates the establishment clause of the Constitution? For petitioners: Paul Clement, solicitor general, Justice Department, Washington, D.C. For respondents: Andrew Pincus, Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, Washington, D.C.

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