Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions
Please enjoy the latest edition of Short Circuit, a weekly feature from the Institute for Justice.
Does the Fourth Amendment permit the search and seizure without probable cause of two compliant children, handcuffed and at gunpoint, even after the children have identified themselves to the seizing officer and been independently identified by their parents? Next Friday, January 21st, the Supreme Court will consider whether to take up that question in the case of Pollreis v. Marzolf. Click here to read IJ’s cert petition. And click here to read a very fine amicus brief on the common law of arrest from the DKT Liberty Project.
New on the Short Circuit podcast: A smelly traffic stop and the Oregon Supreme Court rejects the automobile exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement.
- Young El Salvadoran man is arrested in East Boston on suspicion of being a member of MS-13, despite having no prior arrests or ever having been observed participating in any gang activity. He applies for asylum, but the immigration judge rules against him based on information from the gov’t’s Gang Assessment Database, which describes man as a “verified” member of MS-13. The evidence? Mostly the fact that he lived in East Boston and hung out with other young El Salvadorans. First Circuit (en banc): That’s not enough. He gets a new hearing. Dissent: Well we think he’s a great big liar.
- Does Rhode Island violate the constitutional rights of schoolchildren throughout the state by failing to provide them with enough civics education to be responsible citizens? No, says the First Circuit. But did the First Circuit violate your editor’s constitutional rights by referring to the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as the Privileges and Immunities Clause? That question remains unresolved.
- The NLRB goes after New Jersey salon owner for unfair labor practices. She settles, and as part of that settlement is required to text a remedial notice to her employees. Salon owner: Okay, I emailed the notice. NLRB: EMAIL?! The settlement is void! Third Circuit: Settle down, guys. The employees got the notice, and that’s all anyone really cares about.
- Millersville, Pa. college student gets a black eye from her boyfriend (who doesn’t attend the school) in her dorm room. The RA calls campus police, who escort him off campus (but do nothing further), and the RA files a report with a
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