The US Supreme Court granted review Monday in Brown v. Davenport, a case that will decide how harmless error review is applied in federal habeas petitions.
The case arises out of a Michigan court that shackled a criminal defendant during a trial. State courts concluded that shackling him violated the Constitution, but that the error was harmless, and he was not entitled to a new trial.
After filing a petition for federal review, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit concluded he was entitled to a new trial. The Supreme Court will review the Sixth Circuit’s decision.
Meanwhile, the court rejected a petition for a case about the extent to which the Civil Rights Act protects religious employees. The court did not act on two high-profile cases. In one case, the court may consider if Mississippi’s abortion ban after 15 weeks violates the constitution. In another case, the court may decide on the constitutionality of restrictions on carrying firearms outside of the home.