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Article: Supreme Court Season of Turmoil

SCOTUS Orders and Opinions Update

Timothy Courtney January 09, 2017
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(1) The Court issued a per curiam opinion in White v. Pauly (pp. 33-40 of the Order list):  By a vote of 8-0, the judgment of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit is vacated and the case remanded. Per curiam:  "This case addresses the situation of an officer who—having arrived late at an ongoing police action and having witnessed shots being fired by one of several individuals in a house surrounded by other officers—shoots and kills an armed occupant of the house without first giving a warning.... Qualified immunity attaches when an official’s conduct 'does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.’ Mullenix v. Luna, 577 U. S., at ___–___ (slip op., at 4–5)..... On the record described by the Court of Appeals, Officer White did not violate clearly established law. The Court notes, however, that respondents contend Officer White arrived on the scene only two minutes after Officers Truesdale and Mariscal and more than three minutes before Daniel’s shots were fired. On the assumption that the conduct of Officers Truesdale and Mariscal did not adequately alert the Paulys that they were police officers, respondents suggest that a reasonable jury could infer that White witnessed the other officers’ deficient performance and should have realized that corrective action was necessary before using deadly force.... This Court expresses no position on this potential alternative ground for affirmance, as it appears that neither the District Court nor the Court of Appeals panel addressed it. The Court also expresses no opinion on the question whether this ground was properly preserved or whether—in light of this Court’s holding today— Officers Truesdale and Mariscal are entitled to qualified immunity."  Justice Ginsburg issued a concurring opinion (p. 41 of the Order list).

(2) The Court issued CVSGs in the following cases:

-Bulk Juliana v. World Fuel Servs. (link not yet available)

-Bank Melli v. Bennett (Breyer is recused)

-Fenkell v. Alliance Holdings

-Rubin v. Iran (Kagan is recused)

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