Supreme Court issues orders in federal torts and state court jurisdiction cases
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Supreme Court issues orders in federal torts and state court jurisdiction cases

The US Supreme Court issued orders Monday in a collection of cases including Daniel v. US, Santos v. US, and Nevada Department of Wildlife v. Smith.

The Court granted certiorari to Nevada Department of Wildlife v. Smith, a case asking whether states may be sued in each other’s courts without consent. The court made specific note that certiorari was granted in light of last week’s decision in Franchise Tax Board v. Hyatt.

The court denied certiorari to Daniel v. United States, which asked whether an employee of the Navy who died due to a complication could sue the federal government under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted that she would have granted certiorari. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a separate dissent in which he argued the court should have taken the case on in order to overturn Feres v. United States, the current precedent which prevents military personnel from suing the US for the negligence of a federal employee.

Lastly, in Santos v. United States, the court vacated the decision below. Santos was convicted of battery against a Florida law enforcement officer in 1987. The case asks whether battery qualifies as a “violent felony” under the Armed Career Criminal Act. The court remanded the case to the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Justice Samuel Alito wrote a separate dissent, which Thomas joined, arguing that battery of a law enforcement officer clearly fit the elements of the Armed Career Criminal Act, and, as such, certiorari should have been denied.