Tag Archives: Average Joe SCOTUS

Average Joe SCOTUS: Lange v. California

Arthur Gregory Lange is an odd motherfucker. Dude got crazy fucking drunk, like 0.245% fucking drunk, got in his car, and decided to have a rock concert on the drive home. Cranked his tunes up, opened the windows for all to enjoy, and even honked his horn randomly, so he could feel like he was part of the band.

Well, in comes detective Aaron Weikert, apparently not a music lover, who thought Lange’s behavior might be a little suspect. He was right. Did I mention this dumb fuck blew a 0.245%? That’s over three times the legal limit!

Anyway, Weikert followed this idiot, eventually flipped on the blues and twos, and attempted to pull Lange over. Lange, being drunk out of his god damn mind, didn’t even fucking notice Weikert, pulled into his driveway, opened the garage door, and pulled on in, Weikert in his drive way behind him, pretty confident at this point that Lange was ten kinds of fucked up.

So as Lange went to close the garage door, Weikert tripped the garage door detector with his foot, so it wouldn’t close, and walked into the garage to confront Lange. He noticed immediately Lange’s breath smelled like he drank all the alcohol on the west coast. So he took him to a hospital, where they obtained his blood alcohol level.

At the heart of this challenge, is whether Weikert had the right to step into Lange’s garage. At the time he did, Lange was listening to music loudly, and honking his horn at literally no one. Both are minor infractions, and not necessarily cause for an officer to enter someone’s home. So Lange and his attorney, doing their level best to protect Lange from being convicted of a felony he absolutely committed (drunk driving), by making a colorful argument that the officer didn’t have any lawful reason to enter his garage. I say colorful, because let’s not forget, Weikert flashed his lights and shit at Lange well before he got to his garage, and Lange was fucking oblivious to it. So Lange essentially has to prove it was reasonable he wouldn’t notice a fucking cop on his tail with lights and siren going, and thus wasn’t fleeing arrest, which would be a felony, and thus would be cause for the officer to follow him into the garage to affect an arrest.

Lange’s attorney tried to argue officer’s should have let him close the door, and simply knocked on the front door and confronted him in that way, versus entering his garage.

Roberts, being unimpressed by this argument, responded:

Mr. Fisher, I’m trying to figure out, going back to what Justice Alito was saying, what circumstance where there is a genuine hot pursuit do you think would not justify a police officer, just on the basis of the pursuit, believing that the person was trying to hide something, trying to perhaps destroy evidence, whatever the cause, why wouldn’t that justify a — wouldn’t the nature of the pursuit itself create a sense of urgency?

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2020/20-18

What I find most interesting in this, is that Lange is 100% guilty AF of what the officer suspected—that is inarguable. The officer, by any account, acted in a way I think most people would if they were a cop, and ran into this situation. But, as a libertarian, you have to worry a little about cops just walking into a part of your home without a warrant.

Lange’s attorney’s argument isn’t ridiculous though, if there was a dangerous situation, such as he was driving drunk, it ended when he parked in the garage. So the danger was over. Now the question was whether a crime was committed, and how may the cop investigate it. Basically saying, once he parked, and the immediate threat was over, it’s time to get a fucking warrant.

Justice Gorsuch offered up some rather libertarian thoughts:

Neil Gorsuch

Good morning, counsel.

I think my colleagues have kind of pointed out two difficulties with your argument.

First, Justice Breyer points out that different states have different rules about what a felony is and what a misdemeanor is, and it would seem odd that the Constitution would—in its meaning, would depend upon the happenstance of positive state law.

And, second, we live in a world in which everything has been criminalized. And some professors have even opined that there’s not an American alive who hasn’t committed a felony under some state law. And in a world like that, why doesn’t it make sense to retreat back to the original meaning of the Fourth Amendment, which I’m going to oversimplify but generally says that you get to go into a home without a warrant if the officer sees a violent action or something that’s likely to be—lead to imminent violence? That’s vastly oversimplifying, but why isn’t that the right approach?

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2020/20-18

Justice Roberts wasn’t through questioning the limits of what officers can do. He went on to ask a philosophical question as to whether a cop who sees what they presume is a teenager drinking a beer outside with his bros, the budding alcoholic decides to skidaddle when the fuzz comes on scene, and then runs into the house before the rozzers get to him. Can the cop bust into the home to verify he is both a teen, and it was in fact alcohol he was drinking?

The heart of his argument being, how bad must the thing the person is doing be before a cop can justify warrantless entry. So he gave a very benign example of a misdemeanor being broken, an d a severe example of a cop busting down the door, hoping for the counselor to offer some sort of line where it’s OK, if they’re to argue it’s ever OK. We all know that a felony could give probable cause, but at the point the officer followed Lange, remember, all he saw was that he was rocking out, and playing his horn to the beat. Which, let’s be honest, is probably a fair sign the person is drunk, but still. Not obviously, so.

Justice Thomas was curious as to whether this “Meandering pursuit” as he called it, qualified as a “hot pursuit” under the law, which then invokes the hot pursuit rule, which would have allowed the officer to enter the home. But Counselor Rice was adamant that this still qualified as hot pursuit. When Justice Breyer also pushed her on this, she responded:

Amanda K. Rice

Hot pursuit only allows officers to enter a home, Justice Breyer, when the suspect makes the decision to bring a public encounter inside a home.

So a suspect can always avoid any intrusion into a home by deciding not to flee inside, particularly in these sorts of silly cases.

I think, as Chief Justice Roberts suggested, if the suspect nevertheless decides to flee into a home, those might be the very cases where something worse is actually afoot.

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2020/20-18

Curiously, she’s arguing Lange chose to flee, even if it was at a snail’s pace. But that assumes he knew the cop was there and chose not to stop (you’ll occasionally hear that referred to as mens rea, knowing you’re doing something wrong, or your state of mind), when it seems he was fucking oblivious because he was hammered like a cheap prostitute.

In a unanimous decision, SCOTUS ruled for Lange. Pursuit of a fleeing misdemeanor suspect doesn’t create exigent circumstances that allow an officer to enter someone’s home without a warrant.

Hear oral arguments and read about the case here.

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2020/20-18

Average Joe SCOTUS: BP P.L.C. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore

Back in 2018, the mayor of Baltimore, being the ambitious fuck that he is, decided that he was going to make his stand on climate change, and sue the major oil companies for damages he claims are their fault, as a result of climate change.

Such issues like sea-level rise, heat waves, and a ass-ton of rain, in his mind, are all these horrible oil manufacturer’s fault.

Never mind the fact that the biggest producers of climate change are actually animal farms with cows belching like your mom after her seventh beer on a Friday night. When there’s politicking to be done, and points to be scored with how woke you are to the left, going after “big oil” will make you a hero.

(For the record, the Logical Libertarian wholeheartedly concurs climate change is real, and is largely due to man-made activities. I just think politicians like this are being attention hounds, and aren’t actually doing anything worthwhile to make positive change)

Anyway, Baltimore sued in state court (Maryland), and the oil companies were like, “Woah, asshole. A lot of our work is done via agreements with the federal government, and therefore, we want this shit heard in federal court, not your punk ass little state court. Is Maryland even a fucking state? I’ve taken shits that were bigger than Maryland.”

But Baltimore, knowing the federal government is likely much less prone to put up with this dipshit’s political grandstanding, is fighting tooth and nail to keep that shit in Maryland.

So now SCOTUS has to decide who gets to hear this shit. State courts, or federal, and effectively rule on when such cases can be removed to federal courts vs. staying in state courts. They don’t even give a fuck about the beef these two assholes have.

In a 7:1 decision, where Sotomayor dissented, and Alito abstained, SCOTUS sided with BP. A federal appellate court can review an issue from a district court, and decide whether it should be removed from state court or not.

Hear oral arguments and read about the case here

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2020/19-1189

Average Joe Scotus: Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee

In Arizona, people can vote in person or do early voting by mail-in ballot. Forget the mail-in ballots for a minute, we don’t give a fuck about those. The issue here is in-person voting.

You see, in Arizona, counties can decide between two different in-person voting systems. Precinct-based, or voting-center based. What’s the different you may ask?

In voting center based counties, you can go to any voting center in your county and vote, and you’ll be good to go. But in precinct-based counties, you have to go to your particular precinct to vote. So if someone shows up to the wrong precinct, they can cast a provisional vote, but if it’s later determined that this is the wrong precinct, your vote will be tossed in the trash can, even if you live in that county, are a legitimate eligible voter, and made a legitimate vote.

Apparently, 90ish% of the counties in Arizona use the precinct-based system, which hurts the feelings of the DNC. Their argument is that this precinct-based system that discards legitimate votes because they were merely cast in the wrong precinct violates the Voting Rights Act, because it will disproportionately affect minorities, such as the large Native American, Hispanic, and black communities in Arizona.

If I may wax philosophical for a moment, isn’t this pretty fucking racist from the DNC? It effectively argues that these communities are too stupid and pathetic, compared to their white counterparts, to know how to properly cast a vote. I’ve always found this shit insulting AF, even if there is some observational evidence supporting it.

Going REAL abstract, I tend to think this is more about the economic class of the voter, not the color of their skin or their ethnicity. If you’re poor, you’re likely to be less involved in the political process, because you’ve got other shit to worry about, like how you’re going to pay fucking rent.

Since history has not been kind to many minorities, they tend to disproportionately fit into the “poor” category, which then leads to the data to suggest they’ll be the ones getting their votes tossed more. But that’s not racism, that’s a social status issue.

Anyway, there’s a second part to this shit—Arizona HB2023. You see, in Arizona, there were groups who might pick up your ballot, like if you were older than the Grand Canyon, and couldn’t really go to a polling place or drop off location. Republicans, in 2016, passed this bill to criminalize people from picking up your votes for you (except family members, caregivers, mail carriers and election officials), with a two-year stint in the pokey, and a $150,000 fine on the table if someone does it, arguing fairly that it would just make it easier to tamper with people’s votes, since there’s now a more complicated chain of custody.

There was no evidence this occurred in Arizona, mind you, Republicans were just afraid it would. So this leads the racists in the DNC to argue the Republicans are racist (classic diversion tactic), which is probably true on both counts more often that it should be.

So SCOTUS is being asked to decide if the precinct-based system which tosses ballots, and HB2023 violate the Voting Rights Act.

Michael Carvin for the state of Arizona (and the GOP) was asked by Kavanaugh about his brief, where he claims “ordinary” regulations don’t violate the voting rights act. Carvin was quick to paint the Democrats as essentially arguing minorities couldn’t possibly be asked to leave their house, or it’s an unfair and biased ask, which of course is ludicrous, and he was hoping the justices see it that way.

Brett M. Kavanaugh

Your brief says, “Ordinary race-neutral regulations of the time, place, and manner of voting do not violate Section 2.” And that, of course, will put a lot of pressure on the word “ordinary.” Can you tell us how courts are supposed to distinguish ordinary regulations from extraordinary regulations?

Michael A. Carvin

Well, I think the way the Court has done it countless times in the Anderson/Burdick line of cases and in Crawford, what are the usual burdens of voting? This is not some mystery.

We have a long history of about how people go about voting. They show up at precincts and they cast a ballot.

That requires you to leave your house, but that’s not an ordinary burden of voting — that’s a usual burden of voting. Whereas the other side says, you can never have a system which requires anybody to leave their house.

They claim that they can’t find the precincts because of socioeconomic disparities. They claim that they can’t get to mailboxes because of socioeconomic disparities, which means that the state needs to allow partisan operatives to go collect the ballots.

Well, if that’s true, of course, that means that the only system that would satisfy their test is something where the government is sent house to house to collect the ballots. And I’m just saying that that can’t come with any rational definition of the usual burdens of voting, which is you register and you go cast your ballot.

And that is not a very difficult burden, and it’s certainly not a difficult burden here when 99.8 percent of minorities were able to find the right precinct.

In a 6:3 partisan vote, SCOTUS sides with Brnovich (Republicans), which I suppose was somewhat predictable. They deemed such precinct-based voting policies do not violate the Voting Rights Act, as they are not race based in any way, even if the DNC colorfully argues it will affect minorities more.
They also rejected the notion this creates some unusual burden to ensure they go to the right precinct. We live in an age where everyone has a smart phone or access to the internet, or at least access to someone who has the internet. Figuring out where to go in order to vote properly, is not some crazy difficult law.

The dissenters of course feel the majority essentially made a decision based on semantics, with no regard to ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to vote.

Hear oral arguments and read about the case here
https://www.oyez.org/cases/2020/19-1257

Average JOE SCOTUS: United States v. Arthrex, Inc.

Here’s a fun one. Imagine you’re applying for a patent, your patent will be reviewed by a team of Administrative Patent Judges (APJ). These people are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce, and and approved by the Director of the US patent office, similar to how the president appoints SCOTUS justices with review by the Senate. This was created as part of the 2012 America Invents Act.

Arthrex owned a patent for some medical device, and Smith & Nephew made something similar. So Arthrex sued Smith & Nephew, and Smith & Nephew fired back, asking the panel to review whether their gadget was even patentable. So these claims were subject to inter partes review, which is basically a fancy term meaning someone other than the patent holder challenged the legitimacy of the patent.

APJs reviewed Arthrex’s patent, and decided that their shit wasn’t patentable—win for Smith & Nephew. So then Arthrex was like, “We’ll show you, motherfuckers. We’re going to challenge your right to even fucking exist!”

You see, they argued that these APJs violate the constitution since they’re federal positions, where they can only be fired if they commit a crime basically, which Arthrex argues makes the “principal officers” and thus must be appointed by the president, and reviewed by the senate.

A circuit court agreed, and severed the part of the law that protects their tenure, and does allow for them to be fired, thus making them inferior officers, and no longer violating the appointments clause of the constitution.

All parties involved seemed bothered by this, because it removed Arthrex’s objection without providing relief, Smith & Nephew were pissed because the APJ decision was vacated, and the government was pissed because the court shit all over their statute.

Smith & Nephew along with the government say these APJs were always inferior because they are managed by the secretary of commerce, and director of the USPTO. But Arthrex is like, “Hey man, their decisions are final, and only reviewable by an appellate court. So sure they have fucking bosses, but if their decisions are final, they’re fucking principal officers.”

Counsel for Smith & Nephew came out swinging, that these APJs were already inferior officers. His opening salvo was:

Mark A. Perry

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court: Arthrex’s proposal for a bright-line administrative review requirement rests on a single line from Edmond noting that the military judges couldn’t render a final decision unless permitted to do so by other executive officers. The Court in that sentence was not announcing a requirement for inferior officer status.

It was commenting on the narrow scope of CAAF review, which followed its observation that the JAG could not provide advance guidance to the military judges. In sharp contrast, the PTO director can and does give substantive guidance to APJs. He also has unilateral institution and assignment power, and he can order review of any board decision. Moreover, only the director takes final actions by confirming or canceling patent claims.

APJs can’t render any decision unless the director permits them to do so.

They are inferior officers.

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2020/19-1434

Justice Thomas pushed counselor Perry to define the “test” as to what makes someone an inferior officer. The exchange went like this.

Clarence Thomas

Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice. What would be your test for whether someone is an — an inferior officer? The — it seems to be almost a totality of the circumstances.

Mark A. Perry

Justice Thomas, the — the — the principal officers sit at the right hand of the President.

They — the only ones this Court has recognized are the ambassadors and the cabinet officers, and the heads of agencies —

Clarence Thomas

Yes.

Mark A. Perry

— are one step removed. These individuals are three steps removed.

So, you know, the Secretary definitely is.

The director may be.

The APJs definitely are not.

And that’s the chain of command that the Court has described over and over again. That would be one test. The other, the — the Edmond totality- of-the-circumstances test is supervision and control.

And these officials are supervised and controlled in everything they do.

Clarence Thomas

And how much supervision and control are you talking about? Can it be partial supervision? Can it — does it have to be absolute supervision? I don’t — it’s really difficult to discern how much would be required under your test.

Mark A. Perry

Your Honor, the — the ultimate test is whether the President and his direct reports remain accountable for the operations of the agency.

So, if the Congress were to give total free reign to a — to a sleeper agent embedded within the agency, that might be a problem. But where the chain of command is preserved and the director and ultimately the Secretary and the President bear the responsibility and accountability, that is sufficient.

And the totality of the circumstances here show that the latter is the case with respect to the Patent Office.

Perry went on to argue how they are inferior to a separate question Justice Kavanaugh by saying:

The APJs do not cancel patents. The patent in this case is still valid. The board has declared it to be unpatentable, but the director has not canceled it. So, to this day, three years later, nothing has happened because the director, the politically appointed directly accountable to the President individual, has not taken the action specified by statute. The Congress has made a different determination here, but it is absolutely consistent with the dictates of the Appointments Clause.

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2020/19-1434

In a narrow 5:4 decision, where Thomas sided with the left justices, SCOTUS sided with the United States. These APJs are unconstitutional. As such, Chief Justice Roberts required the director of the USPTO hold the ultimate authority to review a final outcome of such proceedings going forward.

Justice Thomas felt like it wasn’t for the court to solve, by making them have a boss, but instead, the court should have just ended the APJs altogether.

Average JOE SCOTUS: Greer v. United States

This case is enjoined to United States v. Gary, although being argued separately, regarding whether someone can be convicted of felony possession if they didn’t know they had been convicted of a felony, and whether they have a right to be retried if they plead, but didn’t know they were pleading guilty to a felony.

Gregory Greer was feeling especially horny one night, and so he went looking for a woman he could hire to be his girlfriend for a period of time. Greer, not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, walked right up to cops running a prostitution sting, and it took him a second to realize these were not the droids he was looking for.

Once he figured out that these were the fuzz, and not girlfriends for hire, he bolted down the stairs, hoping he could outrun them and get away. It gets worse for Greer though, he had a stolen Colt .45 on his dumb ass (not the shitty ass beer, but a gun). It either fell, or he threw it as he was running the stairs. Cops saw it, and of course caught Greer, so they charged his dumb ass with felony possession, since he had like 73 million counts of burglary on his record.

Greer was convicted by a jury, but that jury was not asked to determine whether Greer would have known if he was a felon, and thus violating felony possession laws at the time. So even though it’s plainly obvious Greer knew he was a fucking felon, the jury wasn’t aware he had to know, and thus wouldn’t have taken it into account when convicting him.

So Greer’s counsel is colorfully trying to invalidate his verdict by arguing had the jury known they needed to prove he knew, they might not have convicted, and we’ll never know because they weren’t told. So the only remedy is a retrial. Fucking creative, I’ll give them that.

In a unanimous decision, SCOTUS told Greer, while his argument was creative, it was ultimately shit. They ruled that an appellate court reviewing a claim of “plain error” by a lower court, can consider any factors available to them, and not just the trial record in question. As such, they determined that while a plain error may have been made, the error didn’t alter his outcome, if you look at his case on the whole. Ultimately, it was on his dumb ass during the original trial, to present evidence then that he didn’t know he was a felon. Since he didn’t, he’s the one who fucked up here.

Hear oral arguments or read about the case here.

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2020/19-8709

Average Joe SCOTUS: United States v. Cooley

As you may know, in the United States, long ago, there were people who lived here when Europeans showed up. Long story short, we moved in, and largely kicked them out. However, being prone to feeling a little guilty when we fuck people over, we reserved some land for them to live on, and we call that land reservations.

Within those reservations, they have their own laws, and their own police to enforce them, and those rules are for Native Americans, and not non-Native people, like my lily white ass.

Joshua Cooley was also a non-native, driving through the reservation during the wee hours of the morning, with his ankle biter in tow. Apparently, he’d had one helluva night, because he was tired AF, and decided to pull over and rest a bit.

The area he was in, is notable for spotty mobile phone reception, and Crow Highway Safety Officer James Saylor was driving by and stopped to help him. It’s pretty common for us non-native folks to get lost and find themselves on a reservation. So they do their best to help us out.

When Saylor approached the vehicle and asked if he could help, he noticed Cooley’s kid in the truck, that Cooley himself seemed kinda out of it, and that he also seemed non-Native. As such, Indian law says Saylor should have called the white fuzz. But he didn’t. He kept asking Cooley questions.

As he was talking to him, he noticed a few semi-automatic rifles in the truck, and then Cooley got the “crazy eyes” going as if he was about to go ape shit. So Saylor drew his weapon and asked him to get out of the truck, placed him in the squad car, and called the normal rozzers. He then went on to search the truck, and found some meth. So now it’s a fucking party.

Surprisingly, the issue here, isn’t about a search and seizure as you might suspect, it’s about the fact that a native American cop should be allowed to detain a non-Native citizens within a reservation for crimes like drugs and illegal firearms and shit. If this were a regular cop off the reservation, all of this would have been a normal Tuesday night.

During opening questioning, Counsel for the United States argued:

Eric J. Feigin

I think it’s pretty clear from Strate and I believe Your Honor’s opinion in Atkinson that the authority we’re talking about today is meaningfully different. The main logic of not subjecting non-Indians to tribal adjudication or legislation is that they have no say in making those laws.

Here, this is about the enforcement of laws to which they’re — the non-Indians are indubitably subject.

Essentially saying, the cops can do their part, native or not. But if there ends up being charges and an attempt at prosecution, then that would be the duty of the US government, and not the reservation.

In a unanimous ruling, SCOTUS sided with the United States (the native Americans) against Cooley. They basically argued you can’t handcuff native cops like that. If something is up, you can’t expect them to do nothing, while they wait for non-native cops to show up. That’s dumb AF.

Of course the white dude might be tried and prosecuted off the reservation, but at least those cops can mitigate the threat in the mean time.

Hear oral arguments and read about the case here

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2020/19-1414

Average JOE SCoTUS: United States v. Gary

I’ve often argued that in the United States, we have so many bullshit laws, we’re probably all criminals and don’t even know it. Well, that’s kinda at the heart of this case.

In 2019, the Supreme Court  in Rehaif v. United States, decided that in order to be convicted of the felony of possessing a firearm while already being a felon, it requires that that person both know they had the gun, and that they were a felon.

Michael Andrew Gary, really loves guns. So much so, they he went out and got himself some stolen guns, and was driving around town with them without a care in the world. That is until, officers pulled his dumb ass over for running a red light. Oh, did I mention his dumb ass didn’t have a driver’s license, either?

Don’t do drugs kids! And for fuck’s sake, if you don’t have a driver’s license, don’t run a fucking red light when you have a stolen gun in your car.

Anyway, this fucking idiot was busted years earlier for a 2nd degree burglary, and plead to it, like he plead to having a stolen gun, running a red light, and having no license. Basically, he just really doesn’t want to fight with the law, and admits to pretty much anything he’s charged with. Until now.

The problem at the heart of this case, was that back in 2014, when he plead, he was apparently not made aware that the conviction would be a felony.

Once SCOTUS decided Rehaif above, the 4th Circuit decided Gary was entitled to a new hearing, so his dumb ass could decide whether he wanted to plea or not, now knowing it would make him a felon.

Why does this matter? Well, if he didn’t know he was a felon, then the newer charge of felony possession of a gun can’t be attached to him, because as was stated above, he has to know he is a felon, to be guilty of felony possession. Apparently, contrary to the statement by that prick cop who gave me a ticket years ago when I didn’t know the speed limit was only 45 mph, ignorance is an excuse.

So now the question to the Supreme Court is whether Gary is entitled to a new trial solely because his dumb ass didn’t know about the whole “being a felon now” thing? And, does it have to be shown he’d have plead differently had he known, or such knowledge would have otherwise affected the outcome?

My own question is, if he didn’t know he was a fucking felon, why did he have a stolen fucking gun? Why didn’t he buy one legally. This dumb motherfucker knew he wouldn’t pass a background check, so he apparently knew he was a fucking felon.

Justice Sotomayor seemed to pick up on what I was cooking. In her questions for Counsel Fisher (for Gary):

Sonia Sotomayor

Here is a man who was convicted seven times, multiple separate jail terms, vastly exceeding one year, and I think he had been let out of his last conviction months before he was arrested on this charge. So what would have made it — what factual defenses to knowledge would he have plausibly had?

Jeffrey L. Fisher

So I’m going to answer your question, Justice Sotomayor, but if you forgive me one — one quick thing I want to make sure I reserve, which is we do not think this issue is in front of the Court.

Our argument is that he automatically satisfies prong 4 because of the nature of the error and the futility. But what our argument would be on the facts on remand is that even though he has seven convictions, none of them were convictions where he served more than one year of imprisonment following that conviction. And so the only conviction the government really put in front of the Fourth Circuit is a 2014 burglary conviction.

There, he served more than a year of pretrial detention, but he was let out on a suspended sentence after the guilty plea. And so he reasonably might have thought that pretrial detention has no relationship, as the Court knows, to what the ultimate sentence could be —

Sonia Sotomayor

How about his admission that he knew he was a felon and that’s why he was hiding?

Jeffrey L. Fisher

So that was not his admission, Justice Sotomayor.

What his admission was, and I’m going to quote here, was that he was aware he was not supposed to have a weapon.

He did not say anything about his felon status. And remember, at the outset of this case, he was charged under a state law that prohibited carrying guns without certain, you know, job titles, like a policeman or a fire fighter or the like, or a fisherman, and so that alone would have told him he couldn’t carry a gun for reasons having nothing to do with any felon status.

However, I think the conservative justices largely had their minds made up. At one point, all three Trump appointees Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, then Barrett all couldn’t even be bothered to ask any questions, as if they had somewhere else they wanted to be.

This case was enjoined with Greer v. United States, and SCOTUS ultimately sided with the government. The government can review the case in it’s entirety when considering an error having been made, they do not have to focus only on the court records of the particular case in question.

As such, Gary is fucked.

Hear oral arguments or read about the case here.

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2020/20-444