Issue: (1) In Strickland v. Washington, this Court held there exists a Sixth Amendment constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel at all stages of criminal trials, including the obligation to investigate before selecting a defense. In Cullen v. Pinholster, this Court reiterated Strickland controls for trial counsel’s obligation to investigate all phase of a capital case. Did the Ninth Circuit err in creating a new law of the Circuit that held, pursuant to the Ninth’s reading of Pinholster, trial counsel has no constitutional duty to conduct any investigation into police reports, ballistics, and crime scene photos before selecting a defense? (2)This Court has established a clear “law of the case doctrine.” In 2001 the Ninth Circuit held Phillips’s right to effective assistance of counsel, within the meaning of Strickland, had been violated because counsel conducted no investigation before selecting a defense. In its latest decision the Ninth Circuit found it was “compelled” to overturn the 2001 decision in light of this Court’s ruling in Pinholster that the Sixth Amendment does no impose a “constitutional duty to investigate” in capital cases. Was it a violation of Phillips’s constitutionally protected right to Due Process under the Fourteenth Amendment when the Ninth Circuit declined to follow this Court’s law of the case doctrine?
On Monday at 9:30 a.m. we expect orders from the March 7 Conference, followed by one or more opinions in argued cases at 10:00 a.m. The live blog will be available here beginning at 9:15. The next Conference is scheduled for March 21. Our list of "Petitions to watch" for that Conference will be available soon.
Upcoming Oral Arguments
Wood v. Moss Secret Service agents’ plea for immunity from lawsuit for actions taken against demonstrators who were opposed to the president’s policies.
Clark v. Rameker Whether an Individual Retirement Account that an individual inherited rather than created personally is exempted from a bankruptcy estate
Catsimatidis v. Irizarry Whether an individual may be held personally liable
for a corporation’s violation of the Fair Labor
Standards Act merely
because the individual had general control over corporate
affairs, but exercised no personal responsibility
over the conduct that caused the violation.
Justice Elena Kagan delivers the 2014 Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecture on Women and the Law at the New York City Bar Association, where (among other things) she attributes the “gulf between Justice Ginsburg’s career and” hers to the work of Justice Ginsburg herself.
Awarded the Peabody Award for excellence in electronic media.
Sigma Delta Chi
Awarded the Sigma Delta Chi deadline reporting award for online coverage of the Affordable Care Act decision.
National Press Club Award
Awarded the National Press Club's Breaking News Award for coverage of the Affordable Care Act decision.
Silver Gavel Award
Awarded the Silver Gavel Award by the American Bar Association for fostering the American public’s understanding of the law and the legal system.
American Gavel Award
Awarded the American Gavel Award for Distinguished Reporting About the Judiciary to recognize the highest standards of reporting about courts and the justice system.