Recent Supreme Court Decisions
Kansas v. Cheever (December 11, 2013)
The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution does not prohibit the government from introducing evidence from a court-ordered mental evaluation of a criminal defendant to rebut that defendant’s presentation of expert testimony in support of a defense of voluntary intoxication.
Sprint Communications, Inc. v. Jacobs (December 10, 2013)
Federal courts may abstain from adjudicating a proceeding due to a pending parallel state-court proceeding only in "exceptional cases." This case did not constitute an exceptional case as laid out in Younger v. Harris, so the Eighth Circuit's ruling affirming the district court is reversed.
Atlantic Marine Constr. Co. v. United States Dist. Court for Western Dist. of Tex. (December 3, 2013)
A forum-selection clause of a contract may be enforced by a motion to transfer under 28 U.S.C. § 1404, but it may not be enforced by a motion to dismiss under 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a) or under Rule 12(b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Burt v. Titlow (November 5, 2013)
In federal habeas review of a state court decision, it is settled law that a federal court must use a "doubly deferential" standard of review that gives the state court and the defense attorney the benefit of the doubt.
Stanton v. Sims (November 4, 2013)
A police officer is entitled to immunity from liability for civil damages unless his actions violate a constitutional right that was "clearly established" at the time of the occurrence. In this case, the officer's pursuit of a person suspected of a jailable misdemeanor onto another person's private property was not clearly established as a constitutional violation, so the Ninth Circuit erred in denying the officer qualified immunity.