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SCOTUS Takes No New Criminal Cases

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The U.S. Supreme Court issued an order list today, taking up three civil cases but no criminal cases.

Update:  One of the three civil cases is somewhat crime-related.  Amy Howe describes Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach:

In Lozman's first visit to the Supreme Court, the justices ruled that Lozman's floating home was not a "vessel" for purposes of federal maritime jurisdiction. His second case, however, arises from his November 2006 arrest at a city council meeting, after he refused to stop talking about local government corruption when a councilmember directed him to do so.

The charges against Lozman were quickly dropped, but that didn't end the matter. Lozman filed a lawsuit in federal district court, alleging that he had been arrested in retaliation for his criticism of the government and for a lawsuit that he had filed against the city. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled, however, that Lozman's retaliatory-arrest claim could not succeed because the jury found that the police had probable cause to arrest him. Now the Supreme Court will decide whether that ruling is correct.
Another interesting case, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, No. 16-1140, also involves free speech.  Here is the opening paragraph of the Ninth Circuit's opinion:
The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, et al. appeal from the district court's denial of their motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent the enforcement of the California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act (the FACT Act or the Act). The Act requires that licensed pregnancy-related clinics disseminate a notice stating the existence of publicly funded family-planning services, including contraception and abortion. The Act also requires that unlicensed clinics disseminate a notice stating that they are not licensed by the State of California. Appellants allege that the Act violates their fundamental rights, including their First Amendment guarantees to free speech and the free exercise of religion.
The compelled speech aspect cuts both ways.  In states where anti-abortion forces control the legislature, it is abortion providers who claim a right not to be forced to say things they don't want to say.  The Court limited its grant of certiorari to the free speech issue, not the free exercise issue.

CJLF takes no position on this case or on the abortion issue generally.

Justice Sotomayor dissented from denial of certiorari in a capital case involving claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, Reeves v. Alabama, which I will discuss in another post.

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re National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, No. 16-1140

AG Becerra has a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood.
They are the nation’s largest abortion provider, and he
has accepted 1,000's of $$ in donations from them.

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