Two of this week’s nine cert grants were for cases from the Sixth Circuit, both from petitions filed by the government. In United States v. Castleman (12-1371), the court will review whether a conviction under a Tennessee misdemeanor statute qualifies as a crime of domestic violence under federal law. In that case, the Sixth Circuit sided with the Fourth, Ninth and Tenth circuits that require that the misdemeanor have involved physical pain or injury, while the First, Eighth and Eleventh circuits require a lesser standard. United States v. Quality Stores, Inc. (12-1408) asks whether severance payments are taxable under FICA where the termination was involuntary. The Sixth Circuit found that the payments were not taxable, conflicting with a decision from the Federal Circuit.
Interestingly, three of the nine cert grants were in intellectual property cases from the Federal Circuit and only two of the cases involved criminal law.