Some Interesting Criminal Procedure Cases Before the Supreme Court This Term

I’ve said it many times before, I’m a federal habeas corpus nut. And so, when the good folks at Habeas Corpus Blog previewed the upcoming SCOTUS term, I found myself a little disappointed that there wasn’t more habeas action at the top court. Burt v. Titlow poses some interesting questions and White v. Woodall has potential but that’s the extent of the cases currently scheduled for oral argument. So I went digging to see what other criminal procedure cases might be on the menu. Here are some cases worth following:

Criminal Procedure

First Amendment Issues

McCullen v. Coakley: Is Massachusetts’ “selective exclusion law” preventing people other than employees or agents of abortion clinics from standing on a public way or sidewalk within 35 feet of the clinic a violation of the First Amendment? [ARGUMENT NOT SCHEDULED YET]

Fourth Amendment Issues

Fernandez v. California: does a defendant have to personally present and objecting to law enforcement ask his co-tenant permission to enter the unit or does a previously stated objection suffice to bar consent? [ORAL ARGUMENT ON NOV 13, 2013]

Navarette v. California: If a law enforcement officer receives an anonymous tip regarding a drunken or reckless driver, is he required to corroborate the dangerous driving before stopping the vehicle? [ARGUMENT NOT SCHEDULED YET]

Fifth Amendment Issues

Kansas v. Cheever: Does it violate a defendant’s Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination when, after the defendant introduces expert testimony that he lacked the required mental state to commit murder, the state rebuts with evidence from a court-ordered mental evaluation? [ARGUED OCT 16, 2013]

Civil Forfeiture / Right to Counsel

Kaley v. United States: If the government freezes an individual’s assets after indictment through an ex-parte restraining order and this prevents the defendant from retaining counsel of choice, do the Fifth and Sixth Amendments require a hearing on the underlying charges in which the defendant may challenge the sought restraining order? [ARGUED OCT 16, 2013]


Paroline v. United States: What nexus between the defendant’s conduct and the victim’s harm must be shown in order for the victim to be entitled to restitution under 18 U.S.C. § 2259? [ARGUMENT NOT SCHEDULED YET]

Substantive Federal Criminal Law

Armed Career Criminal Act / Mens Rea

Rosemond v. United States: Does the offense of aiding and abetting the use of a firearm require intentional facilitation or encouragement as held by the First, Second, Third, Fifth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Eleventh circuits or is simple knowledge sufficient, as held by the Sixth, Tenth and DC circuits? [ARGUMENT ON NOV 12, 2013]

United States v. Castleman: Does the defendant’s Tennessee misdemeanor conviction for misdemeanor assault qualify as a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence under 922(g)(9)? [ARUGMENT NOT SCHEDULED YET]

I am particularly interested by McCullen, Fernandez, and Navarette and will be watching them carefully. It’s been a while since I followed any Supreme Court cases on this blog but I think the time is right. Indeed, I may post more on each case as the term progresses and arguments are held on each of them. That’s the docket for now; we’ll see if any new interesting cases are granted cert in the upcoming weeks and months.

-Zachary Cloud

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