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News Scan

SCOTUS Hears Two 4th Amendment Cases:  Search and seizure was on the docket yesterday as the Supreme Court heard oral argument in two cases involving 4th Amendment challenges.  Jessica Gresko of the Associated Press reports that in Byrd v. United States, Terrance Byrd was driving his fiancee's rental car when he was pulled over by Pennsylvania troopers for a traffic violation.  After determining that Byrd was not authorized to drive the car and he admitted that he had marijuana, the officers searched the trunk, finding bags of heroin and body armor.  In the appeal of his conviction Byrd's attorneys argued that there was insufficient probable cause for the search.  In the case of Collins v. Virginia, police arrested Austin Collins after he eluded officers on a motorcycle at speeds of up to 140 mph.  After locating what they believed was the house of the suspect's girlfriend, an officer removed a tarp covering the stolen motorcycle in the driveway.  Collins argued that the police were required to have a warrant to search for the motorcycle on private property.   Nina Totenberg of NPR has this take on how the argument went in these two cases.   

USCA8 Rehears Ferguson Civil Case:  The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reheard a case arising out of the notorious Ferguson, Missouri police shooting case in 2014.  Dorian Johnson, who was with Michael Brown at the time of his altercation with Officer Darren Wilson and who later falsely stated that Brown had his hands up, is suing the City, its police chief, and Officer Wilson.  In this pretrial motion to dismiss, the key question is whether Johnson was "seized" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.  Rachel Lippmann has this story at St. Louis Public Radio.  The National Police Association submitted an amicus curiae brief, written by CJLF.  Update:  Robert Patrick has this report for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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