January 2009 Archives
Yesterday we talked about the Supreme Court's decision in Arizona v. Evans, involving a police officer's right to frisk passengers in a stopped vehicle. The week before, the Supreme Court handed down Pearson v. Callahan which, despite it being a civil case, also has important ramifications for 4th Amendment law.
My legions of faithful readers are by now familiar with my dystopian view of where the Supreme Court is headed on 4th Amendment issues. Despite the Court's unanimous decision in favor of the government on a 4th Amendment issue the other day in Arizona v. Johnson, the most appropriate response is probably a sigh of relief.
On June 11, 2002, Don Krieger, Clifton Oliver, and Andrew Mendez went to an Indians game in Cleveland. The Tribe beat the Philadelphia Phillies handily 5-1, with Bartolo Colon pitching eight strong innings, and Milton Bradley providing the the big blow with a 3-run homer in the 3rd.
That's not why Krieger and Oliver will always remember that game, though.
After a couple of sluggish post-holiday sessions, the 8th issued twenty decisions last week. One we'll talk about one in more detail tomorrow. The highs and lows for the other nineteen:
Not much out of DC, and nothing out of Columbus last week. Roberts et al. came down with one decision, Pearson v. Callahan, concerning qualified immunity for police officers in suits for 4th Amendment violations. Pearson is interesting for both on its effects on search and seizure law, especially the "consent-once-removed" doctrine, and its treatment of stare decisis. Don't know what the "consent-once-removed" doctrine is? Neither did I. Check back here on Thursday and I'll increase your store of knowledge.
Only two other notable cases out of Washington. One was Spears v. US, in which the trial court had determined that the using the Guidelines' 100:1 ratio between crack and powder cocaine resulted in an excessive sentence. The 8th Circuit ruled that the trial court couldn't base a lower sentence on policy disagreements with the Sentencing Commission. The Supreme Court did what's called a GVR -- certiorari granted, decision vacated, case remanded -- holding that under its decision in Kimbrough (discussed here and here), the trial court was within its rights to do what it did. The other notable event was the last rites conferred upon the Child Online Protection Act, a law passed a decade ago intended to combat children's access to Internet pornography. The case had been up to the Supreme Court twice before; this time the Court simply denied certiorari, letting stand the 3rd Circuit's decision affirming the trial court's decision that the law violated the 1st Amendment.
As I said, nothing from Columbus, so let's go on to the courts of appeals, where criminal cases predominate...
Not two weeks after I get done with my "Year in Review -- Allied Offenses" post, and here we have another oral argument in the Ohio Supreme Court on allied offenses, another lawyer standing in front of the justices and telling them that "the citizens of Ohio are not well served" by Ohio's jurisprudence on the subject, and urging them to overrule State v. Rance.
Except this time, it was the prosecutor making those arguments.
This will probably not come as a surprise to many of my regular readers, but I sometimes have a problem keeping my mouth shut.
Getting a criminal case reversed on weight or insufficiency of the evidence is a truly Quixotic task, but last week featured not one, but two decisions from the 8th District doing precisely that.
In addition to the handing down two big decisions in Herring v. US and Oregon v. Ice, which we talked about the last couple days, the US Supreme Court's granted cert in five cases, including one on student privacy, where a thirteen-year-old girl was strip-searched on the basis of an unproven tip from another statement, and an Ohio death penalty case. Kent Scheidegger over at Crime and Consequences has a good, if slightly biased, post about the latter case. Speaking of capital punishment, last year the death penalty was imposed in Ohio in only three cases, the lowest number since the penalty was reinstated in 1981. On the flip side of that coin, Ohio was the only non-Southern state to execute anyone last year.
Closer to home, nothing from the gang down in Columbus, who are apparently girding their loins, individually or collectively, for the oral argument this week in Lima v. State and State v. Akron, involving the question of whether the statute forbidding municipalities from requiring employees to live within the city limits violates the Home Rule amendment.
The highlights from the courts of appeals, in which civil, and especially domestic, cases predominate...
Three years ago, in State v. Foster, the Ohio Supreme Court decided that the Ohio sentencing statutes pertaining to consecutive sentencing were unconstitutional because they required judicial fact-finding before such sentences could be imposed. On Wednesday, in Oregon v. Ice, the US Supreme Court held that there was nothing wrong with requiring judicial fact-finding for imposition of consecutive sentences. What now?
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