Key US Supreme Court cases to watch

Brian Craig, Online Paralegal Program Chair, presented a webinar on January 12, 2012 on the key U.S. Supreme Court Cases on the Docket for 2012. The U.S. Supreme Court will decide a number of important issues in 2012, including cases involving the constitutionality of ObamaCare, television indecency, and the Arizona Immigration Bill.

One of the cases that Brain mentioned to watch has already been decided. United States v. Jones (No. 10-1259) was decided on January 23, 2102. Police attached a tracking device on Antoine Jones’s vehicle without a warrant and followed his movements for a month. Jones was arrested on Oct. 24, 2005, for drug possession. The issue for the Court to decide whether the warrantless use of a tracking device on Jones’s vehicle to monitor its movements on public streets violate Jones’ Fourth Amendment rights.

The Justices were unanimous in their decision for Jones. In his opinion, Justice Scalia wrote that without a warrant, the tracking devise constituted an unlawful search under the Fourth Amendment. The Court rejected the government’s argument that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in a person’s movement on public thoroughfares and emphasized that the Fourth Amendment provided some protection for trespass onto personal property.

You can read more about the United States v. Jones (No. 10-1259) case on the Oyez Project website: http://oyez.org/cases/2010-2019/2011. The Oyez Project is an easy place to go for information on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Death Row Mistake -Maples v. Thomas (No. 10-63)  Argued: October 4, 2011

Prison Strip Searches – Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders (No. 10-945)  Argued: Oct. 12, 2011

Television Indecency and the FCC – FCC v. Fox (No. 10-1293) Argued: January 10, 2012

Life without parole for minors – Jackson v. Hobbs (and Miller v. Alabama) (No. 19-9647)   Oral Arguments: Mar. 20, 2012

ObamaCare Cases  Florida v. Dep’t of HHS (No. 11 -400) and    National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (No. 11-393)  Oral Arguments: Mar. 28, 2012

Arizona Immigration Bill – Arizona v. United States (No. 11-182) Oral Arguments: No Date Yet