The U.S. Supreme Court Addresses Important Issues Relevant to Criminal Defense
The first Monday in October is the traditional start of the new session of the United States Supreme Court. There are a lot of hot-button decisions that the Court will hear this session and this is intended as a preview.
The Court has already agreed to hear 33 cases in its new term. However, when the justices all return for the term, they will meet behind closed doors and account for the remainder of the cases for 2015.
Freedom of Speech and Religion
One of the cases the court will hear that will affect the “average American” is whether violent threats posted on social media could merit criminal charges. A Pennsylvania man posted violent messages, including death threats against his ex-wife, written like rap lyrics, but he says he never intended to act on those threats. The Supreme Court has already weighed in on new technology, including GPS and cell phones, and it is strongly inclined to protect the First Amendment and Free speech in modern media and popular culture. This case is set for hearing on December 1st.
Another case involves a Muslin prisoner who is demanding the right to have a beard of a half-inch length. This is allowed in 40 states, but Arkansas prison authorities worry the beards could be used to hide drugs, weapons, or contraband.
Separation of Powers
There are two other important cases involving the balance of power between the legislative and executive branches of government. On November 3, the court will hear a case relative to the status of Jerusalem, as it considers the constitutionality of a 2002 law that directs the State Department to give Israel as the country of birth in passports of Americans born in that city. The problem is that the international community, including the United States, does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem.
On November 4, the court will decide whether the government has the right to fire a federal air marshal for revealing information to the media. The issue is whether the federal whistleblower protections protect the fired agent who revealed that certain flights to Las Vegas would not have air marshals on board. The government’s position is that information puts the passengers on those flights at risk.
Lastly, on December 3rd, the court will hear arguments relative to the alleged discrimination of a pregnant woman.
Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney
When you are charged with a crime, it is important that your lawyer has up to date knowledge of the criminal laws. The United States Supreme Court hears criminal cases in every term. That court’s decision can dramatically change the course of criminal representation. These decisions can happen overnight and the first notice is on the evening news. If you are facing criminal charges and the possible loss of your freedom, it is extremely important that you have expert legal assistance. The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are experts in the area of criminal defense – that is all we do. Our lawyers stay current with criminal laws.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.