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February 19, 2018

SCOTUS back in action with a number of criminal cases up for oral argument

Thanks to the holiday weekend, the Supreme Court returns to action this week with only two days of oral argument.  But for fans of the SCOTUS criminal docket and intricate issues, it should be a glorious two days with this schedule (with compliments to SCOTUSblog for links/content):

Tuesday Feb 20 arguments:

Currier v. Virginia   Issue: Whether a defendant who consents to severance of multiple charges into sequential trials loses his right under the double jeopardy clause to the issue-preclusive effect of an acquittal.  Argument preview: Revisiting the double jeopardy conundrum (Corrected)

City of Hays v. Vogt  Issue: Whether the Fifth Amendment is violated when statements are used at a probable cause hearing but not at a criminal trial.  Argument preview: A deceptively complex Fifth Amendment question -- use of compelled statements at a preliminary hearing


Wednesday Feb 21 arguments:

Rosales-Mireles v. United States  Issue: Whether, in order to meet the standard for plain error review set forth by the Supreme Court in United States v. Olano that "[t]he Court of Appeals should correct a plain forfeited error affecting substantial rights if the error ‘seriously affect[s] the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of judicial proceedings,’” it is necessary, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit required, that the error be one that “would shock the conscience of the common man, serve as a powerful indictment against our system of justice, or seriously call into question the competence or integrity of the district judge.”  Argument preview: Should forfeited Sentencing Guidelines errors normally be corrected?

Dahda v. United States.  Issue: Whether Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2510–2520, requires suppression of evidence obtained pursuant to a wiretap order that is facially insufficient because the order exceeds the judge's territorial jurisdiction.  Argument preview: Should courts read statutory exclusionary rules broadly? 

February 19, 2018 at 08:40 PM | Permalink


Super narrow, super stupid, inside baseball, lawyer bullshit procedural trivia. Then they deny 1000's of other cert applications for this meaningless drivel. Its sole purpose is to give lawyers a tool to force the hiring of a lawyer in future cases, to even understand the decisions.

Posted by: David Behar | Feb 20, 2018 11:12:10 AM

Currier - My personal preference is to err in favor of the sanctity of an acquittal. I realize the Commonwealth did nothing wrong in this case, but the point still remains that a defendant is acquitted on one charge and then convicted based on the same facts as the acquittal, which is identical to Ashe v. Swenson.

Vogt - This feels ripe for complicated facts make bad law. The fundamental question to me feels to be "when can you sue the police?" Given that, I think the Supreme Court's inclination is likely to be "not here." But it also feels like there are broad ramifications when it comes to the exclusionary rule and whether it applies at Preliminary Hearings.

Rosales-Mireles - I'm less interested in issues of Federal Criminal Procedure and Law than I am broader Constitutional concerns. One issue has in its favor the interests of justice, the other has in its favor normal tendencies to favor procedural regularity in criminal trials and, in particular, appeals.

Dahda - This is an interesting question that has broader implications than this one case - whether a statutory exclusionary rule conforms with the Constitutional one as a default rule or should be read more broadly to include exceptions not in the statute. I'm curious to see where the Justices break down here since it's a statute that could theoretically get the support of Justices opposed to the fact that the Constitution doesn't explicitly require an exclusionary rule. Either way, it's a rule that can be fixed by Congress if they wanted to.

Posted by: Erik M | Feb 20, 2018 1:47:23 PM

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