The Supreme Court of the United States announced decisions in five cases today: 

Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, No. 12-515: Petitioner, the State of Michigan, and respondent Bay Mills Indian Community entered into a compact pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) that allows Bay Mills to operate class III gaming activities on Indian lands within the State, but prohibits it elsewhere. Bay Mills opened a casino on land purchased through a congressionally established land trust asserting it qualified as Indian land, but the State disagreed. The State proceeded to bring suit under 25 U.S.C. §2710(d)(7)(A)(ii) of IGRA, which permits States to enjoin “class III gaming activity located on Indian lands and conducted in violation of any Tribal-State compact.” (emphasis added) The District Court granted the injunction, but the Sixth Circuit vacated. Today, the Court affirmed, holding that tribal sovereign immunity protects Bay Mills from this legal action, because §2710(d)(7)(A)(ii) of IGRA only authorizes suits to enjoin gaming "on Indian lands," whereas Michigan's complaint alleged the casino was outside such territory. 

The Court's decision is available here

Hall v. Florida, No. 12-10882: Petitioner Hall was sentenced to death, but after the Court’s holding in Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002) that it was unconstitutional to execute the intellectually disabled, he asked a Florida state court to vacate his sentence, with evidence he had an IQ test score of 71. His motion was denied, on the basis that a Florida statute required that he show an IQ score of 70 or below before presenting additional intellectual disability evidence, and the Florida Supreme Court rejected Hall’s appeal. The Court today reversed, holding that Florida’s rigid rule is unconstitutional because it creates an unacceptable risk that persons with intellectual disability will be executed. 

The Court's decision is available here.

Wood v. Moss, No. 13-115: Respondents were protestors in Jacksonville, Oregon during President George W. Bush’s campaign stop in that city for his second term. Local law enforcement permitted Bush supporters and protestors to assemble on opposite sides of a street on the President’s motorcade route. But when the President made a last-minute decision to have dinner at an outdoor patio of an inn, the protestors moved to an area in front of the inn, within weapons range of the President. Petitioners, two Secret Service agents, cleared the protestors beyond weapons range, but did not require guests inside the inn to leave or stay clear of the patio. The protestors sued the agents for damages, alleging they engaged in viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment. The District Court denied the agents’ motion to dismiss the amended complaint on qualified immunity grounds, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed. Today, the Court reversed, holding that the agents are entitled to qualified immunity because no “clearly established law” controlled the agents’ response to the motorcade’s detour. 

The Court's decision is available here.

Plumhoff v. Rickard, No. 12-1117: Donald Rickard led police on a high-speed car chase. After Rickard spun out in a parking lot, he then resumed acceleration even though his bumper was flush against a patrol car, at which point an officer fired three shots into the car. As Rickard drove away – nearly hitting an officer in the process – officers fired 12 shots, striking both Richard and his passenger. Both died from a combination of gunshot wounds and the subsequent car crash. Respondent, Rickard’s daughter, brought a Section 1983 excessive force suit against the petitioner officers. The District Court denied the officers’ summary judgment motion on qualified immunity, and the Sixth Circuit affirmed. The Court today, after first affirming the Sixth Circuit’s jurisdiction, reversed, holding that the officers did not violate the Fourth Amendment, and in the alternative, were entitled to qualified immunity because they violated no clearly established law. 

The Court's decision is available here.

Martinez v. Illinois, No. 13-5967: On the day Petitioner Martinez’s trial was set to begin, his counsel was ready, but the State was not. After the jury was sworn in, the State declined to present any evidence. Martinez moved for a directed not-guilty verdict, which the court granted. The State appealed, arguing its motion for a continuance should have been granted. The Illinois Appellate Court held that jeopardy had never attached and that the trial court had erred in failing to grant a continuance. The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed. Today, in a per curiam opinion, the Court reversed, holding that based on long-standing precedent that “jeopardy attaches when the jury is empaneled and sworn,” Martinez was subjected to jeopardy, thus barring the State’s attempt to appeal in the hopes of subjecting Martinez to a new trial.

The Court's decision is available here.

Today, the Court granted certiorari in the following case: 

Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne, No. 13-485: Does the United States Constitution prohibit a state from taxing all the income of its residents – wherever earned – by mandating a credit for taxes paid on income earned in other states?