The Supreme Court’s October calendar, announced today, is most notable for a case that’s not on it — Patterson v. Padilla, in which the court agreed to hear a challenge to Senate Bill 27, California’s new law seeking to force presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns.  Even though briefing in Patterson is not quite complete yet (see Bob Egelko’s story in today’s San Francisco Chronicle — “Calif. Democrats cite Reagan vetoes to defend law aimed at Trump’s tax returns”), election deadlines make it an unusually urgent matter.  Of course, the Chief Justice could still add Patterson to the calendar this week, or even later on shortened notice.

Also, there’s still no hearing in sight for Robinson v. Lewis, a case concerning a question for which the Ninth Circuit has been waiting a long time for an answer.

On October 2 and 3, in San Francisco, the court will hear the following cases (with the issue presented as summarized by court staff or stated by the court itself):

California School Boards Association v. State of California:  (1) Does the state violate article XIII B, section 6, of the California Constitution when it identifies general education funding it already provides to school districts and county offices of education as “offsetting revenue” for the purpose of reimbursing state mandates? (2) Does the state violate separation of powers principles when it allows general education funding or special education funding to be identified as offsetting revenues for state-mandated programs?  The court granted review in April 2018.

San Diegans for Open Government v. Public Facilities Financing Authority of the City of San Diego:  Do non-party taxpayers have direct standing to bring an action to challenge the validity of a public entity transaction for an alleged violation of the conflict of interest provisions of Government Code section 1090?  The case concerns a taxpayer challenge to the issuance of bonds for refinancing the San Diego Padres’ stadium.  The court granted review in January 2018.

People v. Guzman:  Does the “Right to Truth-in-Evidence” provision of the California Constitution (art. I, § 28, subd. (f)(2)) abrogate Penal Code section 632, subdivision (d), which otherwise mandates the exclusion of recorded confidential communications from evidence in criminal proceedings?  The court granted review in July 2017, but briefing was not completed until a year later.

Mathews v. Becerra:  (1) Does a psychotherapy patient have a constitutional right of privacy in seeking psychotherapeutic treatment, even if the treatment entails a communication with a psychotherapist that refers to conduct constituting a crime?  (2) Does the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (Pen. Code, § 11164 et seq.) violate a patient’s rights under the California Constitution by compelling disclosure of communications demonstrating “sexual exploitation,” which includes, among other things, downloading, streaming, and accessing through any electronic or digital media a depiction of a child engaged in an act of obscene sexual conduct?  The court granted review in May 2017.

People v. Arredondo:  Was defendant’s right of confrontation violated when he was unable to see witnesses as they testified because the trial court allowed a computer monitor on the witness stand to be raised by several inches to allow them to testify without seeing him when they testified in his presence?  The court granted review in November 2017.

In re Gay:  This capital habeas corpus proceeding started in December 2004, after the court affirmed the petitioner’s death sentence on direct appeal for the 1983 murder of a police officer (People v. Cummings (1993) 4 Cal.4th 1233).  The court issued an order to show cause in 2008, limiting the issues to whether relief should be granted on the ground of trial counsel’s conflict of interest that prejudicially affected his representation at the guilt phase of petitioner’s trial, and on the ground of trial counsel’s failure to adequately investigate and present evidence at the guilt phase tending to show that petitioner did not participate in the police officer’s murder.  In 2011, the court referred the matter to the superior court for an evidentiary hearing on specified issues, and the superior court referee filed his report in November 2015.

People v. Frederickson:  This is an automatic direct appeal from a January 1998 judgment of death.  The court’s website does not list issues for such cases.  Counsel was appointed in November 2003 and initial briefing was completed in March 2011.  Last October, the court asked for supplemental briefing concerning the significance to the case, if any, of McCoy v. Louisiana (2018) 584 U.S. __ [138 S.Ct. 1500].  The court also referenced People v. Miracle, in which the court filed its 6-1 opinion two months later.