The Washington Post

Supreme Court’s next agenda

The Supreme Court Monday announced that in its next term, it will:

• Decide whether police need a warrant before using a Global Positioning System device to track a suspect’s movements. The justices said they will hear the Obama administration’s appeal of a court ruling that favored a criminal defendant. The federal appeals court in Washington overturned a criminal conviction because police had no warrant for the GPS device they had secretly installed on a man’s car.

Other appeals courts have ruled that search warrants aren’t necessary for GPS tracking.

The Justice Department argued that warrantless use of GPS devices does not violate the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches. It also said prompt resolution of the divergent court opinions is critically important to law enforcement.

A three-judge panel of Democratic and Republican appointees unanimously threw out the conviction and life sentence of Antoine Jones of Washington, a nightclub owner convicted of operating a cocaine distribution ring.

Police had put a GPS device on Jones’s Jeep and tracked his movements for a month. The judges said the prolonged surveillance was a factor in their decision.

• Leave alone a state court order requiring tobacco companies to pay $270 million for a smoking-cessation program in Louisiana. The justices turned away an appeal from cigarette makers in a long-running class-action lawsuit first filed by Louisiana smokers in May 1996.

The smokers prevailed at every step in state courts, but Justice Antonin Scalia temporarily blocked payment of the money in September, citing concerns that the cigarette makers might have been deprived of their legal rights.

• Will not hear an appeal from former detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq who wanted to sue defense contractors over claims of abuse. The justices turned aside the appeal from Iraqis who said they or their relatives had been abused by interrogators employed by the two firms, CACI International and Titan. A divided federal appeals court had dismissed the lawsuits.

Supreme Court’s
next agenda

On Monday, the Supreme Court announced that in its next term, it will:

l Decide whether police need a warrant before using a Global Positioning System device to track a suspect’s movements. The justices said they will hear the Obama administration’s appeal of a court ruling that favored a criminal defendant. The federal appeals court in Washington overturned a criminal conviction because police had no warrant for the GPS device they had secretly installed on a man’s car.

Other appeals courts have ruled that search warrants aren’t necessary for GPS tracking.

The Justice Department argued that warrantless use of GPS devices does not violate the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches. It also said prompt resolution of the divergent court opinions is critically important to law enforcement.

A three-judge panel of Democratic and Republican appointees unanimously threw out the conviction and life sentence of Antoine Jones of Washington, a nightclub owner convicted of operating a cocaine distribution ring.

Police had put a GPS device on Jones’s Jeep and tracked his movements for a month. The judges said the prolonged surveillance was a factor in their decision.

l Leave alone a state court order requiring tobacco companies to pay $270 million for a smoking-cessation program in Louisiana. The justices turned away an appeal from cigarette makers in a long-running class-action lawsuit first filed by Louisiana smokers in May 1996.

The smokers prevailed at every step in state courts, but Justice Antonin Scalia temporarily blocked payment of the money in September, citing concerns that the cigarette makers might have been deprived of their legal rights.

l Will not hear an appeal from former detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq who wanted to sue defense contractors over claims of abuse. The justices turned aside the appeal from Iraqis who said they or their relatives had been abused by interrogators employed by the two firms, CACI International and Titan. A divided federal appeals court had dismissed the lawsuits.

Associated Press

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
The Democrats debate Thursday. Get caught up on the race.
What to expect tonight
Tonight's debate is likely to focus on the concerns of African American and Latino voters. Clinton has focused in recent days on issues like gun control, criminal-sentencing reform, and the state of drinking water in Flint, Mich. Sanders has been aggressively moving to appeal to the same voters, combining his core message about economic unfairness with his own calls to reform the criminal-justice system.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the polls as he faces rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz heading into the S.C. GOP primary on Feb. 20.
Clinton in New Hampshire: 2008 vs. 2015
Hillary Clinton did about as well in N.H. this year as she did in 2008, percentage-wise. In the state's main counties, Clinton performed on average only about two percentage points worse than she did eight years ago (according to vote totals as of Wednesday morning) -- and in five of the 10 counties, she did as well or better.
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.