Cert Petitions Granted with Decision Pending

The Supreme Court has granted certiorari in the following cases involving issues of interest to capital habeas litigators:

McGirt v. Oklahoma, 18-9526 (cert. petition granted December 13, 2019)

Question presented:

Whether Oklahoma courts can continue to unlawfully exercise, under state law, criminal jurisdiction as "justiciable matter" in Indian Country over Indians accused of major crimes enumerated under the Indian Major Crimes Act - which are under exclusive Federal jurisdiction.

Click here to view McGirt's merits brief.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Tom Cole, et al., in support of McGirt.  Click here to view the amicus brief of National Indigenous Women's Resource Center, et al., in support of McGirt.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Former United States Attorneys. Click here to view the amicus brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of McGirt.  Click here to view the amicus brief of the National Congress of American Indians Fund in support of McGirt.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Historians, Legal Scholars, and Cherokee Nation in support of McGirt.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Muscogee (Creek) Nation in support of McGirt.  The case has been set for argument on April 21, 2020.  

Banister v. Davis, 18-6943 (cert. petition granted June 24, 2019)
(case below: unpublished order (5th Cir.))

Question presented:

Whether and under what circumstances a timely Rule 59(e) motion should be recharacterized as a second or successive habeas petition under Gonzalez v. Crosby, 545 U. S. 524 (2005).

Click here to view Banister's merits brief.  Click here to view the amicus brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of Banister.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Law Professors with Expertise in Habeas Corpus and Civil Procedure in support of Banister.  Argument was heard on December 4, 2019.

Kahler v. Kansas, 18-6135 (cert. petition granted March 18, 2019)
(case below: 410 P.3d 105 (Kansas))

Question presented:

Do the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments permit a state to abolish the insanity defense?

Click here to view Kahler's merits brief.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Philosophy Professors in support of Kahler.  Click here to view the amicus brief of 290 Criminal Law and Mental Health Professors in support of Kahler.  Click here to view the amicus brief of the American Bar Association in support of Kahler.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Professor John F. Stinneford in support of neither party.  Click here to view the amicus brief of the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation of Kansas in support of Kahler.  Click here to view the amicus brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of Kahler.  Click here to view the amicus brief of the Idaho Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Montana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Salt Lake Legal Defender in support of Kahler.  Click here to view the amicus brief of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, and Mental Health America in support of Kahler.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Legal Historians and Sociologists in support of Kahler.  Click here to view Kansas' merits brief.  Click here to view the amicus brief of the United States in support of Kansas.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Lynn Denton, Arizona Voice for Crime Victims, Inc., and Utah Crime Victims Legal Clinic in support of Kansas.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Utah, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idahp, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas in support of Kansas.  Click here to view Kahler's reply brief.  The Solicitor General's motion for leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument was granted.  Argument was heard on October 7, 2019.

Ramos v. Louisiana, 18-5924 (cert. petition granted March 18, 2019)
(case below: 231 So.3d 44 (La. App.))

Question presented:

Whether the Fourteenth Amendment fully incorporates the Sixth Amendment guarantee of a unanimous verdict?

Click here to view Ramos' merits brief.  Click here to view the amicus brief of the Rutherford Instittute in support of Ramos.  Click here to view the amicus brief of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund & Educational Fund, Inc., in support of Ramos.  Click here to view the amicus brief of the American Bar Association in support of Ramos.  Click here to view the amicus brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of Ramos.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Law Professors and Social Scientists in support of Ramos.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Prominent Current and Former State Executive and Judicial Officers, Law Professors, and the OCDLA in support of Ramos.  Click here to view the amicus brief of the Institute for Justice in support of Ramos.  Click here to view the amicus brief of the States of New York, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Vermont, and Virginia, and the District of Columbia in support of Ramos.  Click here to view the amicus brief of the Innocence Project of New Orleans and Innocence Project in support of Ramos.  Click here to view the amicus brief of the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation of Louisiana in support of Ramos.  Click here to view Louisiana's merits brief.  Click here to view the amicus brief of State of Oregon in support of Louisiana.   Click here to view the amicus brief of Utah, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in support of Louisiana.  Click here to view Ramos' reply brief.  Argument was heard on October 7, 2019.

Carpenter v. Murphy, 17-1107 (cert. petition granted May 21, 2018)
(case below: 866 F.3d 1164 (10th Cir.))

Question presented:

Whether the 1866 territorial boundaries of the Creek Nation within the former Indian Territory of eastern Oklahoma constitute an "Indian reservation" today under 18 U.S.C. § 1151(a).

Click here to view the warden's merits brief.  Click here to view the amicus brief of International Municipal Lawyers Association, et al. in support of the warden.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association in support of the warden.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Oklahoma Sheriffs' Association, et al. in support of the warden.  Click here to view the amicus brief of the States of Nebraska, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming, and Paul R. LePage, Governor of Maine in support of the warden.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Environmental Federation of Oklahoma, Inc., et al. in support of the warden.  Click here to view the amicus brief of the United States in support of the warden.  Click here to view Murphy's merits brief.  Click here to view the amicus brief of David Boren, et al. in support of Murphy.  Click here to view the amicus brief of National Congress of American Indians in support of Murphy.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Historians, Legal Scholars, and Cherokee Nation in support of Murphy.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Muscogee (Creek) Nation in support of Murphy.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Former United States Attorneys in support of Murphy. Click here to view the amicus brief of National Indigenous Women's Resource Center, et al. in support of Murphy.  Click here to view the warden's reply brief.  The joint motion of Murphy and Moscogee (Creek) Nation for leave for Moscogee (Creek) Nation to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument was granted.  The Solicitor General's motion for leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument was granted.  Argument was heard on November 27, 2018.  On June 27, 2019, the case was restored to the calendar for reargument.  (Note:  It appears that the case will not be reargued but will be addressed following the Supreme Court's decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma, 18-9526,)