Supreme Court Grants Cert in 4 Cases

November 2nd, 2009

H/T SCOTSUBlog. Nothing earth-shattering, but worthwhile to note.

The full order list is here.

Docket: 08-998
Title: Hamilton, Chapter 13 Trustee v. Lanning
Issue: The Court limited the question presented to the following: “Whether in calculating the debtor’s ‘projected disposal income’ during the plan period, the bankruptcy court may consider evidence suggesting that the debtor’s income or expenses during that period are likely to be different from her income or expenses during the pre-filing period.”

Note: Akin Gump now represents the respondent in this case.

Docket: 08-1457
Title: New Process Steel v. National Labor Relations Board
Issue: Whether Section 3(b) of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 153(b), authorizes the NLRB to act when only two of its five positions are filled, if the Board has previously delegated its full powers to a three-member group of the Board that includes the two remaining members; does the NLRB have authority to decide cases with only two sitting members, where 29 U.S.C. § 153(b) provides that “three members of the Board shall, at all times, constitute a quorum of the Board”?

Docket: 09-223
Title: Levin, Tax Commissioner of Ohio v. Commerce Energy, Inc.
Issue: Does either the Tax Injunction Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1341, or comity principles bar federal court jurisdiction over a case alleging federal equal protection and dormant commerce clause claims when the plaintiffs do not challenge their own tax assessment and the relief sought is directed to specific tax exemptions or exclusions applicable to only four other taxpayers?

The Court has invited the Solicitor General to submit briefs in the following cases:

Docket: 09-34
Title: Pfizer Inc. v. Abdullahi et al.
Issue: Whether Alien Tort Statute (ATS) jurisdiction can extend to a private actor based on alleged state action by a foreign government where there is no allegation that the government knew of or participated in the specific acts by the private actor claimed to have violated international law. Whether, absent state action, a complaint that a private actor has conducted a clinical trial of a medication without adequately informed consent can surmount the “high bar to new private causes of action” under the ATS.

Note: Neither Chief Justice Roberts nor Justice Sotomayor took part in this order.