Skinner v. Switzer
|Docket No.||Op. Below||Argument||Opinion||Vote||Author||Term|
Oct 13, 2010
|Mar 7, 2011||6-3||Ginsburg||OT 2010|
Holding: Federal courts have subject matter jurisdiction over civil rights lawsuits, filed under Section 1983, that seek access to DNA evidence to challenge a state conviction.
Plain English Holding: Convicted inmates seeking access to DNA evidence to prove their innocence may do so by filing a federal civil rights lawsuit, rather than having to undertake the more difficult process of filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
Judgment: Reversed, 6-3, in an opinion by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on March 7, 2011. Justice Thomas filed a dissent, which was joined by Justice Kennedy and Justice Alito.
- Last week's opinions in Plain English
- A limited DNA access plea allowed
- The Term so far in plain English
- Argument recap: Drawing a line between habeas and Section 1983
- Argument day podcast: Skinner v. Switzer
- Argument preview: seeking access to DNA testing after Osborne
- Special feature: Texas death row DNA case (Part 3)
- Special feature: Texas death row DNA case (Part 2)
- Special feature: Texas death row DNA case
Briefs and Documents
- Brief for Petitioner Henry W. Skinner
- Brief for Respondent Lynn Switzer, District Attorney for the 31st Judicial District of Texas
- Reply Brief for Petitioner Henry W. Skinner
- Brief for the National Crime Victim Law Institute in Support of Respondent
- Brief for the National District Attorney Association in Support of Respondent
- Brief for the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney, et al., in Support of Respondent
- Brief for the States of Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wyoming, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands in Support of Respondent