Justices side with police in California shooting case

Today's decision overturned the 9th Circuit's ruling. One officer shouted "Gun!" and they fired 15 rounds.

The Ninth Circuit's decision in the Mendez case upheld taking away the legal immunity of police officers for shooting two homeless people in a shed they occupied because a district court believed the officers' actions provoked a violent response.

Judges must decide whether the deputies engaged in an "unreasonable search" when they entered the shack behind the house, Alito wrote. Writing for the Court, Justice Samuel Alito explained that the rule essentially blurred the important distinction between an excessive force claim and other Fourth Amendment claims. Both survived, although Mendez's leg was amputated below the knee.

A federal judge in Los Angeles handed down a $4-million verdict against the two deputies because they entered the shack without a search warrant, did not announce their presence and used excessive force. "The rule's fundamental flaw is that it uses another constitutional violation to manufacture an excessive force claim where one would not otherwise exist".

The Department of Homeland Security initiated removal proceedings against Esquivel-Quintana.

Juan Esquivel-Quintana migrated to Sacramento, Calif., with his parents in 2000 and became a lawful permanent resident.

Esquivel-Quintana argued that his statutory rape conviction under California law did not equate to the sexual abuse of a minor. The California law says it is a criminal offense for an adult to have sex with anyone under 18 when the age difference between the two is more than three years. Esquivel-Quintana was 20 at the time; the girl was almost 17.

President Trump's appointee, Neil Gorsuch, was not on the bench when justices heard the case in February so he did not participate in the decision.

"The general consensus from state criminal codes points to the same generic definition as dictionaries and federal law: Where sexual intercourse is abusive exclusively because of the ages of the participants, the victim must be younger than 16", Thomas concluded.

Companies give up their patent rights once they sell a product, and it does not matter where the sale takes place, the court ruled.

But in delivering the opinion of the court, Justice Clarence Thomas said when Congress added sexual abuse of a minor to the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1996 "reliable dictionaries provide evidence that the generic age" then and now "is 16". The decision came in a case in which Lexmark International sought to prevent the re-use of its printer toner cartridges.

The deputies appealed to the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals a year ago, unsuccessfully arguing that the dilapidated wooden shack did not appear to be a residence and consequently a warrant was not required.

"Extending the patent rights beyond the first sale would clog the channels of commerce, with little benefit from the extra control that the patentees retain", Roberts wrote.

  • Zachary Reyes