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Constitutional Law

Of Mice and Men and Death in Texas: SCOTUS to Review Use of “Lennie” Standard in Death Penalty Cases

In 2002, the Supreme Court of the United States in Atkins v. Virginia ruled that executing an intellectually disabled person was a violation of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution which prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment.” Here’s what Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in his opinion:”Construing and applying the Eighth Amendment in the light of […]

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Constitutional Law

Latest Warrant Decision by SCOTUS Ignores Reality

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that evidence found by police officers after illegal stops may be used in court if the officers conducted their searches after learning that the defendants had outstanding arrest warrants. Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority in the 5-to-3 decision, said such searches do not violate the Fourth Amendment […]

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Constitutional Law

Supreme Court Ducks Main Issue in Internet Threat Case

The Supreme Court yesterday issued a long awaited decision in Elonis v. United States that failed to address the core issues presented by the case involving harsh language posted on the Internet. Under a 1939 federal criminal statute prohibiting the communication of threats, Anthony Elonis was charged with threatening his wife; a kindergarten class; and […]