[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] granted certiorari Monday in four cases [order list, PDF] to be heard next term. In Riegel v. Medtronic (06-179) [docket; cert. petition] the court will decide whether Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [official website] regulation of medical devices protects manufacturers, such as Medtronic, Inc. [corporate website], from state product liability lawsuits. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found [opinion, PDF] that a damages claim by a man injured by a Medtronic device was preempted by the device's FDA approval. AP has more.
In Rowe v. New Hampshire Motor Transport (06-457) [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the court will consider a Maine tobacco transport law which required special inspection of tobacco packages to be delivered in Maine, to prevent purchases from unlicensed retailers who do not verify buyer age to be at least 18. The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit found [opinion] the law to conflict with federal law regarding interstate transportation services. AP has more.
In Knight v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue (06-1286) [docket], the court will decide if investment-advice fees incurred by a trust are not considered costs which "would not have been incurred if the property were not held in such trust" within 26 USC 67 [text], and consequently are deductible from gross income to the extent that they exceed 2 percent of the trust's adjusted gross income. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, as well as the Tax Court, held [opinion, PDF] that that Section 67(e)(1) allows full deductibility only for expenses that are not commonly incurred outside of the trust setting, and therefore that investment advice fees are subject to the 2 percent floor.
Finally in Snyder v. Louisiana (06-10119) [docket], the Supreme Court will examine the death sentence given to an African-American man who was convicted of murder by an all-white jury. During the sentencing phase of the trial, the prosecutor drew comparisons between the trial of Allen Snyder and the trial of OJ Simpson [CourtTV case materials]. The Louisiana Supreme Court upheld [opinion, PDF] Snyder's death sentence. The appeal argues that the prosecutor used the comparison to create a race-based appeal for the death penalty. AP has more. SCOTUSblog has additional coverage of the Snyder case, as well as the rest of Monday's certiorari grants.