US Supreme Court issues 4 opinions, including search & Crawford decisions

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Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts - a state forensic analyst's laboratory report prepared for use in a criminal prosecution is "testimonial" evidence and is therefore not admissible, per Crawford v. Washington, absent the opportunity to confront and cross-examine the person who prepared the report. A State may enact a "notice-and-demand" statute which allows a state to give pretrial notice of its intention to use an affidavit and places the responsibility on the defense to object by demanding that the State produce the witness. The 5-4 opinion was authored by Justice Scalia.  Justice Kennedy filed a dissenting opinion which was joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Breyer and Alito.

The opinion is consistent with existing Nevada case authority - Las Vegas v. Walsh, 121 Nev. 899, 904-06, 124 P.3d 203, 207-08 (2005) (citing in footnote 11 of the Melendez opinion).

Safford United School District #1 v. Redding - the Fourth Amendment prohibits public school officials from conducting a strip search of a student suspected of possessing and distributing a prescription drug on campus in violation of a school policy, but the constitutional right was not clearly established at the time of the search so the girl cannot sue for damages.  Justice Souter authored the majority opinion.  Justice Stevens filed a partial dissent joined by Justice Ginsburg.  Justice Ginsburg filed an opinion concurring opinion and dissenting in part.  Justice Thomas concurred in part and dissented in part.

Atlantic Sounding Co. Inc. v. Townsend - concerns whether a seaman may recover punitive damages for the willful failure to pay maintenance and cure.  5-4 decision authored by Justice Thomas.  Justice Alito authored a dissenting opinion which was joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia and Kennedy.

Horne v. Flores; Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives v. Flores - concerns an injunction against Arizona for failing to provide sufficient funding for non-English speaking school children.  5-4 decision authored by Justice Alito.  Justice Breyer authored the dissenting opinion which was joined by Justices Stevens, Souter and Ginsburg.


The remaining 3 decisions of the 2008--09 term will be released on Monday.


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This page contains a single entry by JoNell published on June 25, 2009 8:48 AM.

US Supreme Court issues 3 opinions was the previous entry in this blog.

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