The Supreme Court of the United States granted review in three cases today:
Los Angeles, CA v. Patel, 13-1175: (1) Whether facial challenges to ordinances and statutes are permitted under the Fourth Amendment. (2) Whether a hotel has an expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment in a hotel guest registry where the guest-supplied information is mandated by law and that ordinance authorizes the police to inspect the registry. If so, is the ordinance facially unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment unless it expressly provides for pre-compliance judicial review before the police can inspect the registry?
Chappell v. Ayala, No. 13-1428: Whether a state court’s rejection of a claim of federal constitutional error on the ground that any error, if one occurred, was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt is an “adjudicat[ion] on the merits” within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. §2254(d), so that a federal court may set aside the resulting final state conviction only if the defendant can satisfy the restrictive standards imposed by that provision. The Court also directed the parties to address whether the court of appeals properly applied the standard articulated in Brecht v. Abrahamson, 507 U.S. 619 (1993).
Henderson v. United States, No. 13-1487: Whether a conviction under 18 U.S.C. §922(g), which makes it “unlawful for any person … who has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year … to … possess … any firearm,” prevents a court under Rule 41(g) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure or under general equity principles from ordering that the government (1) transfer non-contraband firearms to an unrelated third party to whom the defendant has sold all his property interests or (2) sell the firearms for the benefit of the defendant.