Rank #1: NASA V. Nelson (09-530)
1. Whether the government violates a federal contract employee’s constitutional right to informational privacy when it asks in the course of a background investigation whether the employee has received counseling or treatment for illegal drug use that has occurred within the past year, and the employee’s response is used only for employment purposes and is protected under the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a. 2. Whether the government violates a federal contract employee’s constitutional right to informational privacy when it asks the employee’s designated references for any adverse information that may have a bearing on the employee’s suitability for employment at a federal facility, the reference’s response is used only for employment purposes, and the information obtained is protected under the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a.
Rank #2: Abbott v. United States (09-479)
Title 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(a) provides, in part, that a person convicted of a drug-trafficking crime or crime of violence shall receive an additional sentence of not less than five years whenever he “uses or carries a firearm, or * * * in furtherance of any such crime, possesses a firearm” unless “a greater minimum sentence is * * * provided * * * by any other provision of law.” The questions presented are: 1. Does the term “any other provision of law” include the underlying drug trafficking offense or crime of violence? 2. If not, does it include another offense for possessing the same firearm in the same transaction?
Rank #3: Ransom v. FIA Card Services, N.A. (09-907)
Whether, in calculating the debtor’s “projected disposable income” during the plan period, the bankruptcy court may allow an ownership cost deduction for vehicles only if the debtor is actually making payments on the vehicles.