A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

US Supreme Court to hear evidence suppression, state water rights cases

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Tuesday agreed to hear five cases [order list, PDF], including Herring v. United States (07-513) [docket; cert. petition, PDF], where the Court will decide whether evidence seized during a search incident to an arrest must be suppressed when the sole premise for the arrest was information later found to be negligently provided by another law enforcement agency. More specifically, the Court must decide whether using the evidence found incident to such an arrest would violate Fourth Amendment [text] protections against unreasonable search and seizure. The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled [opinion, PDF] last July that such suppression would not significantly deter the law enforcement agency providing the misinformation, because it would affect only the agency conducting the arrest. AP has more.

The Court granted a motion for leave to file a bill of complaint in Montana v. Wyoming (134, Orig.) [docket], where the court will exercise original jurisdiction over a lawsuit [JURIST report] brought by the state of Montana against Wyoming over Wyoming's use of water from the Tongue and Powder Rivers, which flow through both states. Montana alleges that pursuant to the 1950 Yellowstone River Compact [DOC text], which delegates water usage from the two rivers among Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota, Wyoming should be required to limit its water usage. Montana is seeking a court ruling that Wyoming is using more than its share of the rivers' waters. Wyoming has asserted that it has acted pursuant to the Compact and that Montana has failed to show it has been harmed by Wyoming's use of the rivers. AP has more.

The Court also granted certiorari in three other cases, including disputes over when a labor union can charge non-members for union expenses, a divorcing spouse's ability to waive their right to their spouse's pension benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and whether a union contract can waive union members' rights to sue over workplace discrimination. SCOTUSblog has more on all of Tuesday's cert. grants.

Among the cases denied certiorari by the Supreme Court Tuesday was ACLU v. NSA (07-468) [docket], in which the Court rejected without comment [ACLU press release] an ACLU challenge to the government's domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive]. The lawsuit was brought by a group of lawyers, advocacy groups, scholars and journalists who said they could not effectively communicate with sources and clients out of fear that their conversations were being monitored by the National Security Agency [official website]. The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected [PDF text; JURIST report] the lawsuit last July on the grounds that none of the plaintiffs could prove their conversations had been monitored. The ACLU appealed [JURIST report] to the Supreme Court in October, asking the Court to decide whether the plaintiffs had standing. AP has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.