Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Virginia wins again

Today in Virginia v. Moore, the Commonwealth won before the United States Supreme Court. In an opinion by Justice Scalia, with Justice Ginsburg concurring separately in the judgment, the Supreme Court reversed the Virginia Supreme Court's decision in Moore v. Com., which reversed (unanimously) the Virginia Court of Appeals decision en banc in Moore v. Com., which (with Elder, Benton, Fitzpatrick, and Frank dissenting) reversed the panel decision in Moore v. Com., which reversed the conviction in the trial court.

The issue was "whether a police officer violates the Fourth Amendment by making an arrest based on probable cause but prohibited by state law." The Court's answer is no. So, Moore's conviction is affirmed.

Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSBlog has this post about the decision. AP writer Pete Yost has this article about the decision.

UPDATE: The commenter below says the conviction could still be overturned back in the state courts on state law grounds.

State law grounds, such as what, I wonder - the Virginia Constitution? Not likely. Justice Ginsburg's concurring opinion says plainly, "Virginia law does not demand the suppression of evidence seized by an officer who arrests when he should have issued a summons." If that's true, the proceedings on remand may not be very interesting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not so fast. SCOTUS reversed and remanded, and Justice Scalia's opinion leaves room for state-law grounds for reversing the conviction.