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Does the Double Jeopardy Clause Prohibit Second Prosecution for Crime of which Defendant Was Previously Acquitted?

The Georgia Supreme Court held that a jury’s verdict of acquittal on one criminal charge and its verdict of guilty on a different criminal charge arising from the same facts were logically and legally impossible to reconcile. It called the verdicts “repugnant,” vacated both of them, and subsequently held that the defendant could be prosecuted a second time on both…

Case: McElrath v. Georgia (2024) ___U.S.___ [144 S.Ct. 651]
Case Number: 22-721
Updated: February 21, 2024
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Appropriate Test for Determining Whether a “True Threat” is Unprotected By the First Amendment

Whether, to establish that a statement is a “true threat” unprotected by the First Amendment, the government must show that the speaker subjectively knew or intended the threatening nature of the statement, or whether it is enough to show that an objective “reasonable person” would regard the statement as a threat of violence. Held: True threats of violence are outside…

Case: Counterman v. Colorado (2023) __ U.S. __
Case Number: 22-138
Updated: June 27, 2023
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Confrontation Clause–Admitting Codefendant’s Redacted Confession that Inculpates a Defendant

Whether admitting a codefendant's redacted out-of-court confession that immediately inculpates a defendant based on the surrounding context violates the defendant's rights under the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment. Held: Prosecutors have long tried criminal defendants jointly in cases where the defendants are alleged to have engaged in a common criminal scheme. However, when prosecutors seek to introduce a nontestifying…

Case: Samia v. United States (2023) __ U.S. __
Case Number: 22-196
Updated: June 23, 2023
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Multiple Constitutional Challenges to ICWA

The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in four related ICWA cases. They were consolidated for briefing and oral argument. Filings and activity in the cases was reflected on the docket for Haaland v. Brackeen, case number 21-376. All the cases sought review of the Fifth Circuit's decision in Brackeen v. Haaland (5th Cir. 2021) 994 F.3d 249, cert. granted 2/28/2022 (21-376,…

Case: Brackeen v. Haaland (5th Cir. 2021) 994 F.3d 249, cert. granted 2/28/2022
Case Number: 21-376, 21-377, 21-378, 21-380
Updated: June 15, 2023
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Proper Remedy for Government’s Failure to Prove Venue

Whether the proper remedy for the government’s failure to prove venue is an acquittal barring re-prosecution of the offense, as the Fifth and Eighth Circuits have held, or whether instead the government may re-try the defendant for the same offense in a different venue, as the Sixth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits have held. The U.S. Constitution permits retrial when…

Case: Smith v. United States (2023) __ U.S. __ [143 S.Ct. 1594]
Case Number: 21–1576
Updated: June 15, 2023
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Second Amendment Right for Ordinary Law-Abiding Citizens to Carry Handguns Outside the Home for Self-Defense

New York prohibits its ordinary law-abiding citizens from carrying a handgun outside the home without a license, and it denies licenses to every citizen who fails to convince the state that he or she has “proper cause” to carry a firearm. In District of Columbia v. Heller, this Court held that the Second Amendment protects “the individual right to possess…

Case: N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen (2022) __ U.S. __ [142 S.Ct. 2111]
Case Number: 20-843
Updated: June 23, 2022
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