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.
IJ is going to The Show! Next Monday IJ Attorney Patrick Jaicomo will argue before the U.S. Supreme Court in Brownback v. King, a case in which the government is seeking to create a huge new loophole through which government employees can escape accountability when they violate someone’s constitutional rights. Learn more about the case here and check out the argument live on the Supreme Court’s website.
- Per footnote one of this D.C. Circuit opinion, Senior Judge Silberman is having none of your acronym nonsense
- First Circuit: No qualified immunity for police who enhanced Lord’s danger, leading to attack on Irish.
- Corrections officers: We didn’t “conspire” to beat the crap out of that inmate; we just spontaneously decided to do it (and cover it up). Second Circuit: No dice.
- After admitting check fraud to postal inspectors, Brazilian suspect in New York flees to Brazil and evades capture for 11 years. Chutzpah alert: Upon his arrest, he alleges that the 11-year delay between indictment and prosecution violates the Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial. Second Circuit: How did you think that was going to turn out?
- Fourth Circuit (dissent): “Does the Constitution permit warrantless dragnet surveillance by a police plane in the sky above an American city? Until now, this question was merely a provocative hypothetical for law professors or a slippery-slope concern for litigants. But with the Aerial Investigative Research (“AIR”) program, Persistent Surveillance Systems (“PSS”) and the Baltimore Police Department (“BPD”) bring the thought-exercise to life. Because the majority concludes the warrantless surveillance program is constitutional, I respectfully dissent.”
- In 1994, a group of men in Arlington, Tex. kidnap a 16-year-old high school student, transport her to Arkansas, repeatedly rape her, and murder her. One of the men is convicted of (among other crimes) kidnapping resulting in death (for which he is sentenced to death) and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence (for which he is sentenced to 60 months’ imprisonment). Man seeks leave to file successive habeas petition, challenging, not the kidnapping conviction, but the firearm conviction. Fifth Circuit (over dissent): Denied. The firearm conviction stands. (The man is scheduled to be executed for the kidnapping count on November 19 and sought to argue that the invalidity of his conviction on the firearm count meant that he should be resent
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