Supreme Court to rule on refusing blood alcohol tests
Supreme Court to rule on refusing blood alcohol tests

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] granted certiorari [order, PDF] Friday in four cases. In Birchfield, Danny v. North Dakota [SCOTUSblog materials], consolidated with Bernard, William R. v. Minnesota and Beylund, Steve M. v. North Dakota, the court will determine “[w]hether, in the absence of a warrant, a state may make it a crime for a person to refuse to take a chemical test to detect the presence of alcohol in the person’s blood.” The outcome could have a nationwide effect on roadside actions of police offers [SCOTUSblog report].

The court will also hear arguments in three other cases. In United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc. [SCOTUSblog materials], the court must decide “[w]hether the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ determination that the property at issue contains ‘waters of the United States’ protected by the Clean Water Act [text], constitutes ‘final agency action for which there is no other adequate remedy in a court,’ and is therefore subject to judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act.”

In Sheriff v. Gillie [SCOTUSblog materials], the court will rule on two issues: “(1)Whether special counsel—lawyers appointed by the Attorney General to undertake his duty to collect debts owed to the state—are state ‘officers’ within the meaning of 15 USC § 1692a(6)(C) [text]; and (2) whether it is materially misleading under 15 U.S.C. § 1692e [text] for special counsel to use Attorney General letterhead to convey that they are collecting debts owed to the State on behalf of the Attorney General.

Lastly, the court will hear the case of Ross v. Blake [SCOTUSblog materials] on “[w]hether the Fourth Circuit misapplied this Court’s precedents in holding, in conflict with several other federal courts of appeals, that there is a common law ‘special circumstances’ exception to the Prison Litigation Reform Act [text] that relieves an inmate of his mandatory obligation to exhaust administrative remedies when the inmate erroneously believes that he satisfied exhaustion by participating in an internal investigation.”