In Herring, the Court ruled, 5-4, that isolated incidents of negligence are enough to trigger the exclusionary rule and, perhaps more importantly, ‘unreasonableness’ does not necessary trigger the exclusion of evidence. Chief Justice Roberts authored the majority opinion and was joined by Justices Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy and Alito. Justice Ginsburg filed a dissenting opinion that was joined by Justices Stevens, Souter, and Breyer. Justice Breyer also filed a dissenting opinion and it was was joined by only Justice Souter. I wrote about case last year (here).
In Oregon, the Court held, 5-4, that states may grant judges certain fact-finding responsibilities in issuing consecutive prison sentences. The judge in this case had to determine whether or not “separate harms” when he raped and assaulted a women in separate instances and, if so, he would be eligible for consecutive sentences. Justice Ginsburg authored the majority opinion and was joined by Justices Stevens, Kennedy, Breyer, and Alito. Justice Scalia authored a dissent that was joined by the Chief Justice and Justices Souter and Thomas.
I’ve updated the Term Index to reflect the opinions from this week. You can find a link towards the top of the page or here.