In its conference of April 13, 2017, the court will consider petitions involving issues such as whether applying Colorado’s public accommodations law to compel the petitioner to create expression that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage violates the free speech or free exercise clauses of the First Amendment; whether, when a police officer shoots an unarmed person in the back and the person testifies that he was merely walking away when shot, a court may grant summary judgment to the officer in a suit for excessive force by concluding that it is an “undisputed fact” that the person reached for his waistband just because the officer said he did; and whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit incorrectly narrowed qualified immunity when it held that officers clearly lacked reasonable suspicion for the brief detention of a driver after a valid traffic stop until a drug detection dog arrived and alerted to the driver’s car.

16-111

Issue: Whether applying Colorado’s public accommodations law to compel the petitioner to create expression that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage violates the free speech or free exercise clauses of the First Amendment.

16-515

Issue: Whether, when a police officer shoots an unarmed person in the back and the person testifies that he was merely walking away when shot, a court may grant summary judgment to the officer in a suit for excessive force by concluding that it is an “undisputed fact” that the person reached for his waistband just because the officer said he did.

16-805

Issues: (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, in a divided 2-1 decision, incorrectly narrowed qualified immunity and failed to faithfully apply the Supreme Court’s precedents when it held that officers clearly lacked reasonable suspicion for the brief detention of a driver after a valid traffic stop until a drug detection dog arrived and alerted to the driver’s car; and (2) whether the 10th Circuit erred by doing precisely what the Supreme Court instructed lower courts not to do in United States v. Arvizu, which was to use a divide-and-conquer approach to reasonable suspicion and proceed to dismiss individual factors as innocuous in isolation rather than consider all factors collectively, i.e., the totality of the circumstances.

16-881

Issues: (1) Whether, viewing the evidence from the officer’s perspective at the time of the incident as shown in the dashboard video, a reasonable officer could have believed that the decedent posed an imminent threat of serious harm to the officer or others in the vicinity; and (2) whether, at the time of the incident, the law clearly established in a particularized sense, considering the evidence available including the dashboard video, that the use of deadly force was unlawful in this situation.

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: Kate Howard, Petitions to watch | Conference of April 13, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 11, 2017, 11:09 AM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2017/04/petitions-watch-conference-april-13/