Posted on Fri Nov 20th 2020 2:15 pm by Amy Howe
The Supreme Court announced on Friday morning that it would postpone the hearing in the Justice Department against the House Committee on the Judiciary, the dispute planned for December 2 over access to classified material from the Mueller investigation. The news came as part of the orders released by the private conference of judges on Friday. The judges added two more cases to their calendar of arguments for the term, both of which concerned the extent of the law enforcement officers’ search powers.
The decision to postpone the hearing in the Müller case was granted to a motion by the House Justice Committee three days ago. In a filing on Tuesday, the committee told judges that after a new Congress and President-elect Joe Biden took office in January, “a decision must be made whether to continue its efforts to obtain the materials” – the edited portions of that of Special Counsel Robert Mueller submitted the Grand Jury’s report and the secret transcripts and materials on which these parts are based.
In a paragraph reply Thursday, Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Wall noted that the government had no objection to the committee’s request. Wall wrote that the government was “ready to proceed with the arguments as planned on December 2, 2020, but will proceed as the Court chooses in the light of the committee’s motion”.
The two new cases approved by the court relate to disputes over police behavior. After the fourth change, the police are usually required to obtain an arrest warrant for searches and seizures. The Supreme Court has made several exceptions to this general rule, including one in the event that the police perform a “community caretaking” role – activities that have nothing to do with fighting crime but focus on providing assistance. In Caniglia v. Strom agreed on Friday to decide whether the exception applies to the house.
The case came after police officers went to Cranston, Rhode Island, the home of 68-year-old Edward Caniglia when his wife requested a wellness check-up. After a local firefighter persuaded Caniglia to go to the hospital, police officers who believed “Caniglia and others may be in danger” entered the house and took Caniglia ‘s weapons. Caniglia sued the city and police officers in federal court, arguing (among other things) that the police officers entering his home and confiscating the weapons without a warrant violated the fourth amendment. The district court ruled that the police officers’ actions fell under the “community maintenance” exception and the US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision.
Caniglia went to the Supreme Court in August, where he argued that the judges should take his case because the lower courts are “deeply divided” over whether the “community maintenance” exception applies to the home. The lower court’s decision was also simply wrong because the Supreme Court intended to apply the exception only to cars.
The city and police officers countered that there is no conflict between the lower courts, which have dealt with the “unique facts” of each individual case and which “routinely” allow officers to enter houses under “dire” circumstances without an arrest warrant. In addition, the Supreme Court did not limit the exemption to cars, and the fourth amendment did not prevent police from entering houses to defuse potentially dangerous situations.
In the United States against Cooley, judges will determine whether a Native American tribe police officer can detain a non-tribal member on a road within a reservation and search for a possible violation of federal or state law. The question comes in court in the case of Joshua James Cooley, who was parked in his pickup truck on the roadside of the Crow reservation in Montana, when Officer James Saylor of the Crow Tribe approached him in the early hours of February. 26, 2016. Cooley was charged with gun and drug charges, but the US Court of Appeals for Circuit 9 ruled that the guns and drugs should not be used as evidence against him. The federal government appealed to the Supreme Court, which on Friday agreed to weigh up.
The cases granted on Friday are expected to be discussed early next year. We expect further orders from the conference on Friday, November 23rd at 9:30 am
This post was originally published on Howe on the Court.
Amy Howe, Court Resigns Mueller Materials Dispute, Grants Two New Cases,
SCOTUSblog (November 20, 2020, 2:15 p.m.), https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/11/court-shelves-oral-argument-in-dispute-over-mueller-materials-grants-two-new -Fls /