Supreme Court of the United States
No. 14-593 3/30/15
Does a satellite-based monitoring system via an ankle bracelet fitted on a sex offender constitute a search under the Fourth Amendment?
Yes. Whether the search is reasonable is a question to be resolved on a case-by-case basis. Read the opinion.
This is a short per curiam opinion, so it was not intended to establish any new or significant holding of the Court. All that the Court held was that a tracking device placed upon a defendant is a search. In that respect, the holding was nothing more than an application of United States v. Jones, 132 S.Ct. 945 (2012). The Court did not hold that such a device required a warrant or that it was unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment. When confronted with a claim that electronic monitoring was unreasonable when applied to someone like a probationer or parolee, you should use caselaw on the reasonableness of such searches. See Samson v. California, 547 U.S. 843 (2006); United States v. Knights, 534 U.S. 112 (2001); Griffin v. Wisconsin, 483 U.S. 868 (1987); Ex parte Gingell, 842 S.W.2d 284 (Tex. Crim. App. 1992). But above all, do not let defense counsel or a trial judge misinterpret what the Supreme Court held in this case.
Texas Courts of Appeals
No. 05-13-01010 3/25/15
In a bribery case, does the exception for political contributions found in §36.02(d) of the Election Code apply to covert, indirect transfers of money?
Yes. The definition in the Election Code does not differentiate between money that looks shifty and money that is clearly above board. Read the opinion.
The odds of your having an Election-Code-related prosecution like this are low. But if you do have such a bribery case, read this decision, especially if the defendant claims that the alleged bribery constituted a political contribution. This decision holds that the State must prove that it is not.
Office of the Attorney General
Is it appropriate for a county to reimburse all legal costs to an acquitted county commissioner? Read the request.
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