Criminal Law

United States Supreme Court OT 2023 Midterm Update

We have included links to SCOTUSblog in case you want to learn more about these cases.

Cases argued this term but not yet decided (in chronological order of argument date):

  • Pulsifer v. U.S., No. 22-340
    • Issue: Whether a defendant satisfies the criteria in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(f)(1) as amended by the First Step Act of 2018 in order to qualify for the federal drug-sentencing “safety valve” provision so long as he does not have (a) more than four criminal history points, (b) a three-point offense, and (c) a two-point offense, or whether the defendant satisfies the criteria so long as he does not have (a), (b), or (c).
    • Argued: October 2, 2023
  • Culley v. Marshall, No. 22-585
    • Issue: Whether district courts, in determining whether the due process clause requires a state or local government to provide a post-seizure probable-cause hearing prior to a statutory judicial-forfeiture proceeding and, if so, when such a hearing must take place, should apply the “speedy trial” test employed in United States v. $8,850 and Barker v. Wingo or the three-part due process analysis set forth in Mathews v. Eldridge.
    • Argued: October 30, 2023
  • U.S. v. Rahimi, No. 22-915
    • Issue: Whether 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), which prohibits the possession of firearms by persons subject to domestic-violence restraining orders, violates the Second Amendment on its face.
    • Argued: November 7, 2023
  • Brown v. U.S., No. 22-6389
    • Issue: Whether the “serious drug offense” definition in the Armed Career Criminal Act incorporates the federal drug schedules that were in effect at the time of the federal firearm offense or the federal drug schedules that were in effect at the time of the prior state drug offense.
    • Argued: November 27, 2023
  • McElrath v. Georgia, No. 22-721
    • Issue: Whether the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment prohibits a second prosecution for a crime of which a defendant was previously acquitted.
    • Argued: November 28, 2023
  • Smith v. Arizona, No. 22-899
    • Issue: Whether the confrontation clause of the Sixth Amendment permits the prosecution in a criminal trial to present testimony by a substitute expert conveying the testimonial statements of a nontestifying forensic analyst, on the grounds that (a) the testifying expert offers some independent opinion and the analyst’s statements are offered not for their truth but to explain the expert’s opinion, and (b) the defendant did not independently seek to subpoena the analyst.
    • Argued: January 10, 2024
  • McIntosh v. U.S., No. 22-7386
    • Issue: Whether a district court may enter a criminal-forfeiture order outside the time limitations set forth in Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32.2.
    • To be argued: February 27, 2024
  • Garland v. Cargill, No. 22-976
    • Issue: Whether a bump stock device is a “machinegun” as defined in 26 U.S.C. § 5845(b) because it is designed and intended for use in converting a rifle into a machinegun, i.e., into a weapon that fires “automatically more than one shot … by a single function of the trigger.”
    • To be argued: February 28, 2024

Cases in which the Court granted certiorari, but has yet to set for argument:

  • Thornell v. Jones, No. 22-982
    • Issue: Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit violated this court’s precedents by employing a flawed methodology for assessing prejudice under Strickland v. Washington when it disregarded the district court’s factual and credibility findings and excluded evidence in aggravation and the state’s rebuttal when it reversed the district court and granted habeas relief.
  • Diaz v. U.S., No. 23-14
    • Issue: Whether in a prosecution for drug trafficking — where an element of the offense is that the defendant knew she was carrying illegal drugs — Federal Rule of Evidence 704(b) permits a governmental expert witness to testify that most couriers know they are carrying drugs and that drug-trafficking organizations do not entrust large quantities of drugs to unknowing transporters.
  • Chiaverini v. City of Napoleon, Ohio, No. 23-50
    • Issue: Whether Fourth Amendment malicious-prosecution claims are governed by the charge-specific rule, under which a malicious prosecution claim can proceed as to a baseless criminal charge even if other charges brought alongside the baseless charge are supported by probable cause, or by the “any-crime” rule, under which probable cause for even one charge defeats a plaintiff’s malicious-prosecution claims as to every other charge, including those lacking probable cause.
  • Snyder v. U.S., No. 23-108
    • Issue: Whether section 18 U.S.C. § 666(a)(1)(B) criminalizes gratuities, i.e., payments in recognition of actions a state or local official has already taken or committed to take, without any quid pro quo agreement to take those actions.
  • City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson, No. 23-175
    • Issue: Whether the enforcement of generally applicable laws regulating camping on public property constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment” prohibited by the Eighth Amendment.
  • Erlinger v. U.S., No. 23-370
    • Issue: Whether the Constitution requires a jury trial and proof beyond a reasonable doubt to find that a defendant’s prior convictions were “committed on occasions different from one another,” as is necessary to impose an enhanced sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act.
  • Fischer v. U.S., No. 23-5572
    • Issue: Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit erred in construing 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c), which prohibits obstruction of congressional inquiries and investigations, to include acts unrelated to investigations and evidence.

Forgot Password

Enter the email associated with you account. You will then receive a link in your inbox to reset your password.

Personal Information

Select Section(s)

CLA Membership is $99 and includes one section. Additional sections are $99 each.