The NCSL Blog

Civil and Criminal Justice

03
May States Prosecute Non-Indians Who Commit Crimes Against Indians in Indian Country?

In Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether a state has authority to prosecute non-Indians who commit crimes against Indians in Indian country.

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24
Detailing Significant Trends in Law Enforcement Legislation

The murder of George Floyd in May 2020 and the nationwide focus on law enforcement policy that followed kicked off an unprecedented state legislative response. Over the next year, more than 3,000 bills were considered across all 50 states and Washington, D.C., with most states enacting significant legislation.

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19
Supreme Court To Decide Whether Failure to Mirandize Means Money Damages

The question in Vega v. Tekoh is whether a police officer can be sued for money damages for failing to provide a Miranda warning.

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26
Supreme Court To Decide Whether and How Texas and State Officials May Be Sued Over Abortion Law

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument on Nov. 1 in two cases challenging Texas’s abortion law. S.B. 8, enacted earlier this year, prohibits abortions in Texas after approximately six weeks. It allows private citizens to sue a person who provides an abortion in violation of S.B. 8 or “aids or abets” an abortion.

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20
Supreme Court Grants Police Officers Qualified Immunity in Two Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the use of force by police officers violates the Fourth Amendment when it is “excessive.”

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16
Supreme Court Adds Spiritual Advisor Lethal Injection Case to Docket

In Ramirez v. Collier the U.S. Supreme Court may decide whether Texas prison officials violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) by disallowing John Henry Ramirez’s spiritual advisor to vocalize prayers and lay his hands on Ramirez as Ramirez is executed by lethal injection. The Supreme Court will hear oral argument in this case on Nov. 1.   

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04
A Real Racket: Combatting Illegal Gambling Machines

Many state legislatures across the country introduced legislation during their 2021 legislative sessions that would strengthen laws designed to combat illegal gambling machines—machines that are not licensed by gaming authorities, not regulated to ensure consumers get a fair shake, and do not provide any tax revenue to state governments.

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30
NCSL Participates in the Safety and Justice Challenge’s Moving Forward Together Virtual Network Meeting

Participants in the Safety and Justice Challenge’s Moving Forward Together virtual network meeting June 30 discussed how recent state legislative actions and trends demonstrates legislative interest and momentum in the direction of local justice and jail reform.

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28

In a per curiam (unauthored) opinion in Lombardo v. City of St. Louis, Missouri the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the Eighth Circuit to decide again whether police officers used excessive force when restraining Nicholas Gilbert on his stomach for 15-minutes and/or should receive qualified immunity.

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24
SCOTUS Adopts Case-by-Case Approach to Warrantless Pursuit of Fleeing Misdemeanants Into Home

In Lange v. California, the U.S. Supreme Court held that pursuit of a fleeing misdemeanor suspect does not always justify entry into a home without a warrant.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.