John Elwood reviews Monday’s relists.

If case numbers keep growing at the current rate, things will quickly become unsustainable. That’s right: Experts warn that if present trends continue, the Supreme Court will be relisting 8,388,608 cases per week by the end of June.

The court on Friday granted cert in last week’s single new relist, Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid, 20-107, presenting the question whether a California regulation that allows union organizers to enter the property of growers constitutes an uncompensated per se taking of property under the Fifth Amendment. But alarmingly, the court replaced it with two relists, setting it on a course of unsustainable exponential growth.

Caniglia v. Strom, 20-157, involves an issue the court has already considered once this term: whether the “community caretaking” exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement extends to the home. Regular readers recall the court considered essentially that issue in Rodriguez v. City of San Jose, California, 19-1057, which it relisted once after the long conference before denying review. Police ordinarily cannot search private property without consent or a warrant. In Cady v. Dombrowski, the Supreme Court wrote that police could conduct warrantless searches in connection with “community caretaking functions,” although Cady only addressed searches in the context of “vehicle accidents” and the like. It has been applied far more broadly since then, becoming, in the words of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit in this case, “a catchall for a wide range of responsibilities that police officers must discharge aside from their criminal enforcement activities.”

In Caniglia, police responding to a domestic dispute determined that Edward Caniglia was “imminently dangerous to himself and others,” and he went to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. Guided by his wife, police at his house then seized two firearms, one of which Caniglia had asked his wife to shoot him with. Caniglia then sued to challenge the legality of the warrantless seizure of the firearms (and him) under the Fourth Amendment, but the district court and the 1st Circuit upheld the search under the “community caretaking” exception. Caniglia argues that the exception should not be applied inside “the home–the most protected of all private spaces.”

United States v. Cooley, 19-1414, arose from a traffic stop on a public highway that crosses through the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. The police officer who made the stop was a tribal officer of the Crow Tribe. The driver was not a Native American. Although the story of the stop (which uncovered methamphetamine and firearms) is compelling reading for many reasons, the main thing I came away with is that the suspect said he borrowed the truck from one of two people who lived nearly 30 miles away, and the arresting officer knew both of them. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit held that the stop was illegal, although it recognized tribes have the power to investigate crimes committed by non-tribe members on tribal land. Judge Dan Collins, joined by Judges Carlos Bea, Mark Bennett and Dan Bress, dissented from the denial of rehearing en banc. The government seeks review on whether the lower courts erred in suppressing evidence on the theory that a police officer of a Native American tribe lacked authority to temporarily detain and search a non-Native American on a public right-of-way within a reservation based on a potential violation of state or federal law.

That’s it for now. Although things were light this week, if present trends continue, I only have three more installments before this becomes unsustainable. Stay safe during these end times.

New Relists

United States v. Cooley, 19-1414
Issue: Whether the lower courts erred in suppressing evidence on the theory that a police officer of an Indian tribe lacked authority to temporarily detain and search the respondent, Joshua James Cooley, a non-Indian, on a public right-of-way within a reservation based on a potential violation of state or federal law.
(relisted after the Nov. 13 conference)

Caniglia v. Strom, 20-157
Issue: Whether the “community caretaking” exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement extends to the home.
(relisted after the Nov. 13 conference)

Returning Relists

Shinn v. Kayer, 19-1302
Issue: Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit violated 28 U.S.C. § 2254’s deferential standard, and employed a flawed methodology that the Supreme Court has repeatedly condemned, when it granted habeas relief based on a de novo finding that a Sixth Amendment violation had occurred.
(relisted after the Sept. 29, Oct. 9, Oct. 16, Oct. 30, Nov. 6 and Nov. 13 conferences; record requested before the Oct. 15 conference and received Oct. 28)

Posted in Shinn v. Kayer, U.S. v. Cooley, Caniglia v. Strom, Featured, Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: John Elwood, Relist Watch, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 18, 2020, 11:57 AM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/11/relist-watch-163/