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SCOTUS Opinions

The Supreme Court issued four opinions today, three of them in criminal or related cases, none major.  Here are some quick takes:

Camreta v. Greene, No. 09-1454, a suit against Child Protective Service workers, is all about reviewability.  The Court can review a case at the behest of the government employee who lost on the merits but won on qualified immunity, but this case is moot.

United States v. Tinklenberg, No. 10-5543, is about the federal Speedy Trial Act.  The defendant's pretrial motion stops the clock, contrary to the Sixth Circuit holding.  But the Sixth also erred in counting days.  The Sixth's two errors cancel, so it is affirmed.  (No, I'm not being snarky.  Justice Breyer really says that.)

Fowler v. United States, No. 10-5443, involves a federal witness tampering prosecution for killing a local police officer who discovered the perpetrators preparing to rob a bank.  This is only a federal offense if "there was a reasonable likelihood that a relevant communication would have been made to a federal officer."  Justice Alito, joined by Justice Ginsburg, dissents.

The fourth case could also be considered criminal-related.  Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, No. 09-115, holds that the Legal Arizona Workers Act is not preempted by federal immigration laws.  (This is not the super-controversial Arizona immigration law, but a different one, albeit controversial enough.)

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