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Petitions of the week: Re-opening church doorways and opening evidentiary doorways

This week we’re highlighting certification filings calling on the Supreme Court to review other challenges of the first amendment on pandemic-related restrictions, among other things, and see if a defendant can open the door to rebuttal testimony otherwise against the sixth amendment would violate.

Two petitions from churches bring First Amendment claims against government restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. In Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v. Sisolak, a church in Nevada challenges Governor Steve Sisolak’s series of executive orders that restrict church meetings. For example, a policy placed casinos, restaurants, indoor amusement parks, bowling alleys, water parks, pools, amusement arcades, and more on fire code capacity restrictions of 50%, but restricted places of worship to no more than 50 people, regardless of their size of the facilities. A new guideline has replaced them, but according to the Church it still treats places of worship less well than their secular colleagues. At the South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom, a California church petitioned directly from the district court questioning Governor Gavin Newsom’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy.” Earlier this year, the Supreme Court declined in two separate orders to provide emergency relief to the Church of Nevada and the Church of California while the litigation was being held in the lower courts. Now the churches are calling on the judges to take up the cases on the matter.

The federal rules of evidence protect criminal defendants from certain types of evidence in the prosecution case, such as evidence of a defendant’s violent nature. A defendant who takes a stand and testifies that he is of a peaceful nature “opens the door” to disproving evidence. Hemphill v New York is asking the judges to determine whether a defendant can similarly “open the door” to refute evidence previously inadmissible under the Sixth Amendment, which guarantees a criminal accused’s right to “oppose the witnesses.” to be confronted with him ”.

In Darrell Hemphill’s trial, the defense attorney gave testimony that hours after the shooting, police found a 9-millimeter pistol, a type of weapon used to kill a girl in a passing car, on another suspect’s bedside table. In response, prosecutors introduced another suspect’s testimony from a previous assignment that he had a .357 revolver on him in battle, not a 9-millimeter. The sixth change would normally require the prosecutor to bring the other suspect to justice so the defense attorney could interrogate him. However, the court allowed the explanation because Hemphill opened the door to that evidence by creating the impression that the other suspect had the 9 millimeters. Hemphill argues that the lower courts are divided over whether defendants can waive confrontation rights in this way, and urges judges to review the New York Court of Appeals decision confirming the court and rule that the admission of the Declaration violates the sixth amendment.

These and other petitions of the week are listed below:

Torres v Texas Department of Public Safety
20-603
problem: Whether Congress has the power to approve lawsuits against dissenting states under its constitutional warring powers.

Gannett Co. versus Quatrons
20-609
problem: Whether a plaintiff alleges a reasonable breach of duty of care and diversification by claiming that the trustees allowed participants in a defined contribution plan to invest in a non-diversified single asset fund from a sufficiently diversified menu of investment options.

Amazon.com Inc. v Rittmann
20-622
problem: Whether the federal arbitration tribunal exemption for classes of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce prevents the law from being applied to local transport workers who, as a class, do not operate in the transport of goods or passengers across state or national borders.

Hemphill versus New York
20-637
problem: Whether or under what circumstances a defendant whose reasoning or introduction of evidence “opens” the door to admission of evidence that would otherwise be excluded by the Rules of Evidence also loses their right to exclude evidence otherwise excluded from the confrontation clause.

Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v. Sisolak
20-639
Problems: (1) Whether Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak prefers secular over religious gatherings – for example, under Policy 021, casinos, restaurants, indoor amusement parks, bowling alleys, water parks, pools, arcades, and more are subject to 50 percent fire – limit the code capacity, but the number of places of worship is limited to a maximum of 50 people regardless of the size of their facilities. and (2) whether the governor’s preference for secular over religious assemblies violates the clauses on freedom of expression and assembly.

LSP Transmission Holdings, LLC versus seven
20-641
problem: Whether a state law that gives companies with an established state presence an explicit preference to build facilities for a clearly interstate market discriminates against interstate trade even though some of the preferred state incumbents are headquartered in a different location.

Cook Children’s Medical Center vs. TL
20-651
problem: Whether a private hospital is a state actor despite a lack of state involvement, involvement, coercion, input or control of any kind, as state law creates a safe haven for those who conduct a private internal review to determine private medical care in a private institution.

Employer Solutions Staffing Group, LLC v Scalia
20-660
Problems: (1) Whether the Supreme Court’s standard of will, which requires evidence that “the employer either knew or recklessly disregarded the question of whether his conduct was prohibited by law”, can be satisfied only by showing that a not – The compliant employer was informed of its general requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act, but had no actual knowledge or reason to believe that it was not meeting the requirements of the FLSA. (2) whether the Employer Solutions Staffing Group was liable for overtime wages when there was no evidence that they knew, or should have known, that overtime wages were improperly paid by a lowly worker; and (3) whether the Employer Solutions Staffing Group may require other joint employers to contribute under the FLSA for joint and several liability for an overtime bonus.

South Bay United Pentecostal Church v Newsom
20-746
Problems: (1) Whether California Governor Gavin Newsom’s lockdown orders and the Blueprint reopening restrictions, which impose severe restrictions, including closings, on all places of worship in California against South Bay’s First Amendment right to freedom of worship violate; and (2) whether tight scrutiny is the appropriate standard of auditing for challenging state and regional restrictions on the freedom to practice religious rights during a pandemic, or whether Jacobson v Massachusetts places additional restrictions on the Supreme Court free line – exercise of jurisdiction during a pandemic.

Posted in Torres v Texas Department of Public Safety, Gannett Co. v Quatrone, Amazon.com Inc. v Rittmann, Hemphill v New York, Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v Sisolak, LSP Transmission Holdings, LLC v Seven, Cook Children’s Medical Center v TL , Employer Solutions Staffing Group, LLC v Scalia, South Bay United Pentecostal Church v Newsom, Featured, Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended citation:
Andrew Hamm, Petitions of the Week: Reopening Church Doors and Opening Evidence Doors,
SCOTUSblog (December 11, 2020, 4:45 p.m.), https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/12/petitions-of-the-week-re-opening-church-doors-and-opening-evidentiary-doors / .

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