This week we highlight petitions pending before the Supreme Court that address, among other things, the constitutionality of invalidating a student-aid program because it affords students the choice of attending religious schools, whether the Fourth Amendment requires a caseworker who suspects abuse to obtain a warrant to strip-search a child, and the compatibility of the “physical realm” test with the Patent Act and Supreme Court precedent.
The petitions of the week are:
Issues: (1) Whether the Fourth Amendment requires a caseworker who suspects abuse to obtain a warrant to strip-search a child—an issue that has produced an acknowledged 4-2 circuit split, and is nearly identical to the issue the Supreme Court granted certiorari on but did not resolve in Camreta v. Greene; (2) whether, even if a warrant is not required in this context, clearly established federal law prohibits conducting warrantless strip searches of children at school when there are no “specific suspicions” of danger or wrongdoing justifying the “categorically extreme intrusiveness of a search down to the body”; and (3) whether the Supreme Court should reconsider its qualified-immunity jurisprudence to accord with historical common-law practice and to eliminate the widespread confusion plaguing current qualified-immunity doctrine.
Issue: Whether it violates the religion clauses or the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution to invalidate a generally available and religiously neutral student-aid program simply because the program affords students the choice of attending religious schools.
Issue: Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s “physical realm” test contravenes the Patent Act and the Supreme Court’s precedent by categorically excluding otherwise patentable processes from patent eligibility.