The NCSL Blog

Civil and Criminal Justice

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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02

In United States v. Cooley the U.S. Supreme Court held unanimously that an Indian tribe police officer may temporarily detain and search a non-Indian on a public right-of-way that runs through an Indian reservation, based on a suspected violation of state or federal law.

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06
NCSL Co-Hosts Hill Briefing on Policing

As Congress grapples with federal policing reform legislation, NCSL was joined by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) for a briefing on policing issues in the states.

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23
SCOTUS Clarifies Sentencing Juvenile Homicide Offenders to Life in Prison Without Parole

In Jones v. Mississippi the U.S. Supreme Court held 6-3 that sentencing a juvenile convicted of homicide to life without parole doesn’t require a separate factual finding of permanent incorrigibility or an on-the-record explanation with an implicit finding of permanent incorrigibility.

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07
SCOTUS to Decide When State Attorneys General May Intervene in Appellate Litigation

In Cameron v. EMW Women’s Surgical Center the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether an attorney general should be permitted to intervene in a lawsuit after a federal court of appeals invalidates a state statute when no other state actor will defend the law. 

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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.