Grady v. North Carolina – Satellite Based Monitoring Programs Are Searches

A decision announced by the Supreme Court earlier this term may force states to re-evaluate their Satellite Based Monitoring (SBM) programs for repeat criminal offenders. Last week, the Court determined North Carolina’s SBM program was a search of a convicted felon, meaning the program must be analyzed according to the Fourth Amendment.

The Fourth Amendment protects citizens in their “persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.”

The Supreme Court did not determine SBM programs are overall unconstitutional. It left that decision to state courts. Instead, The Supreme Court held the programs are searches, defining the proper perimeters for state …

Smart is The New Tough: Prison Reform

Harsh drug sentences were once thought to be the best solution for getting illegal drugs off the streets. While the results of these policies are debatable, it’s indisputable that today our prisons are full of non-violent drug offenders. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, nearly fifty percent of federal … »

“State-of-the-States” Snapshot for the New Fiscal Year

Today marks the first day of the New Year; or at least the new fiscal year in 46 states. Only Alabama, Michigan, Texas, and New York have fiscal years that are different from the traditional July 1 through June 30 time frame. Looking back at what the governors proposed at … »

SCOTUS: EPA Must Consider Costs Before Imposing Regulation

The Supreme Court’s 2014 Term came to a close on Monday, but not before it issued a strong rebuke of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) handling of the 2012 Mercury and Air Toxics (MATS) rule and perhaps establishing a major precedent that could affect many federal regulatory agencies going … »

Previewing Michigan v. EPA

Despite having already announced several significant decisions this week, the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to hand down another on Monday dealing with the Clean Air Act. The consolidated case Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency arises from EPA’s 2012 Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), which target emissions of mercury, … »