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    Ashcroft v. Iqbal

    556 U.S. 662 (2009)   Cited 140,219 times   233 Legal Analyses   
    Holding that a claim to relief is plausible when a court can "draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable" from the facts alleged
    The dangers of the majority's readiness to proceed without briefing and argument are apparent in its cursory analysis, which rests on the assumption that only two outcomes are possible here: respondeat superior liability, in which “an employer is subject to liability for torts committed by employees while acting within the scope of their employment,” Restatement (Third) of Agency § 2.04 (2005), or no supervisory liability at all. The dichotomy is false. Even if an employer is not liable for the actions of his employee solely because the employee was acting within the scope of employment, there still might be conditions to render a supervisor liable for the conduct of his subordinate. See, e.g., Whitfield v. Melendez–Rivera, 431 F.3d 1, 14 (C.A.1 2005) (distinguishing between respondeat superior liability and supervisory liability); Bennett v. Eastpointe, 410 F.3d 810, 818 (C.A.6 2005) (same); Richardson v. Goord, 347 F.3d 431, 435 (C.A.2 2003) (same); Hall v. Lombardi, 996 F.2d 954, 961 (C.A.8 1993) (same).
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    Miranda v. Arizona

    384 U.S. 436 (1966)   Cited 48,345 times   52 Legal Analyses   
    Holding that the right to remain silent can be invoked “any time prior to or during questioning”
    The decisions of this Court have guaranteed the same procedural protection for the defendant whether his confession was used in a federal or state court. It is now axiomatic that the defendant's constitutional rights have been violated if his conviction is based, in whole or in part, on an involuntary confession, regardless of its truth or falsity. Rogers v. Richmond, 365 U.S. 534, 544 (1961); Wan v. United States, 266 U.S. 1 (1924). This is so even if there is ample evidence aside from the confession to support the conviction, e.g., Malinski v. New York, 324 U.S. 401, 404 (1945); Bram v. United States, 168 U.S. 532, 540-542 (1897). Both state and federal courts now adhere to trial procedures which seek to assure a reliable and clear-cut determination of the voluntariness of the confession offered at trial, Jackson v. Denno, 378 U.S. 368 (1964); United States v. Carignan, 342 U.S. 36, 38 (1951); see also Wilson v. United States, 162 U.S. 613, 624 (1896). Appellate review is exacting, see Haynes v. Washington, 373 U.S. 503 (1963); Blackburn v. Alabama, 361 U.S. 199 (1960). Whether his conviction was…
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    West v. Atkins

    487 U.S. 42 (1988)   Cited 20,523 times   1 Legal Analyses   
    Holding that to state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that the deprivation of a constitutional right was committed by a person acting under color of state law
    In their resolution of § 1983 cases, other Courts of Appeals implicitly have concluded that prison physicians act under color of state law when Page 48 treating incarcerated persons. See, e. g., Miranda v. Munoz, 770 F.2d 255 (CA1 1985) (upholding jury verdict in § 1983 action against physician under contract with State to work eight hours per week at jail); Norris v. Frame, 585 F.2d 1183 (CA3 1978) (pretrial detainee's § 1983 claim against, among others, a prison physician); Murrell v. Bennett, 615 F.2d 306 (CA5 1980) (reinstating inmate's § 1983 action against state prison physician); Byrd v. Wilson, 701 F.2d 592 (CA6 1983) (reinstating § 1983 action against medical staff, including two physicians, at state penitentiary); Duncan v. Duckworth, 644 F.2d 653 (CA7 1981) (allowing § 1983 action against prison hospital administrator to proceed until identity of responsible members of medical staff was determined); Kelsey v. Ewing, 652 F.2d 4 (CA8 1981) (upholding § 1983 action against contract physician at state prison).
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    Blakely v. Washington

    542 U.S. 296 (2004)   Cited 13,635 times   15 Legal Analyses   
    Holding that “[w]hen a judge inflicts punishment that the jury's verdict alone does not allow, the jury has not found all the facts ‘which the law makes essential to the punishment,’ and the judge exceeds his proper authority”
    The State defends the sentence by drawing an analogy to those we upheld in McMillan v. Pennsylvania, 477 U.S. 79 (1986), and Williams v. New York, 337 U.S. 241 (1949). Neither case is on point. McMillan involved a sentencing scheme that imposed a statutory minimum if a judge found a particular fact. 477 U.S., at 81. We specifically noted that the statute "does not authorize a sentence in excess of that otherwise allowed for [the underlying] offense." Id., at 82; cf. Harris, supra, at 567. Williams involved an indeterminate-sentencing regime that allowed a judge (but did not compel him) to rely on facts outside the trial record in determining whether to sentence a defendant to death. 337 U.S., at 242-243, and n. 2. The judge could have "sentenced [the defendant] to death giving no reason at all." Id., at 252. Thus, neither case involved a sentence greater than what state law authorized on the basis of the verdict alone.
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    Edison Co. v. Labor Board

    305 U.S. 197 (1938)   Cited 12,585 times   1 Legal Analyses   
    Holding that a Board order cannot be grounded in hearsay
    In the present instance we may lay on one side, as did the Circuit Court of Appeals, the mere purchases by the utilities of the supplies of oil, coal, etc., although very large, which come from without the State and are consumed in the generation and distribution of electric energy and gas. Apart from those purchases, there is undisputed and impressive evidence of the dependence of interstate and foreign commerce upon the continuity of the service of the petitioning companies. They supply electric energy to the New York Central Railroad Company, the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Company, and the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Company (operating a tunnel service to New Jersey) for the lighting and operation of passenger and freight terminals, and for the movement of interstate trains. They supply the Port of New York Authority with electric energy for the operation of its terminal and the Holland Tunnel. They supply a majority of the piers of transatlantic and coastwise steamship companies along the North and East Rivers, within the City of New York, for lighting, freight handling and related uses. They serve the Western Union Telegraph Company, the Postal Telegraph…
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    Jones v. Bock

    549 U.S. 199 (2007)   Cited 12,446 times   6 Legal Analyses   
    Holding exhaustion of administrative remedies under § 1997e is affirmative defense
    Prisoner litigation continues to "account for an outsized share of filings" in federal district courts. Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U. S. 81, 94, n. 4 (2006). In 2005, nearly 10 percent of all civil cases filed in federal courts nationwide were prisoner complaints challenging prison conditions or claiming civil rights violations. Most of these cases have no merit; many are frivolous. Our legal system, however, remains committed to guaranteeing that prisoner claims of illegal conduct by their custodians are fairly handled according to law. The challenge lies in ensuring that the flood of nonmeritorious claims does not submerge and effectively preclude consideration of the allegations with merit. See Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U. S. 319, 327 (1989).
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    Coppedge v. United States

    369 U.S. 438 (1962)   Cited 12,192 times   
    Holding that a district court's certificate that an appeal is not taken in good faith "is not conclusive, although it is, of course, entitled to weight"
    Cf. Griffin v. Illinois, 351 U.S. 12, in which we were presented with a state law requiring defendants in all criminal cases in that State to furnish a bill of exceptions to the appellate court in which they sought review of their convictions. The bill of exceptions was difficult, if not impossible, to prepare without a stenographic transcript of the trial proceedings. Persons sentenced to death received transcripts at the expense of the State; all others were required to purchase a transcript. We found the failure of the State to provide for appellate review for indigents in non-capital cases, when such review was available for all defendants able to purchase transcripts, an "invidious discrimination" inconsistent with the guarantees of due process and equal protection of the laws of the Fourteenth Amendment. See also Eskridge v. Washington State Board, 357 U.S. 214; Ross v. Schneckloth, 357 U.S. 575; Burns v. Ohio, 360 U.S. 252; Douglas v. Green, 363 U.S. 192; McCrary v. Indiana, 364 U.S. 277; Smith v. Bennett, 365 U.S. 708, in which comparable state rules and practices, effectively limiting the poor person's access to courts ostensibly open to all, similarly have…
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    Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A.

    534 U.S. 506 (2002)   Cited 11,938 times   18 Legal Analyses   
    Holding that "[t]he prima facie case under McDonnell Douglas... is an evidentiary standard, not a pleading requirement"
    The majority of Courts of Appeals have held that a plaintiff need not plead a prima facie case of discrimination under McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973), in order to survive a motion to dismiss. See, e.g., Sparrow v. United Air Lines, Inc., 216 F.3d 1111, 1114 (CADC 2000); Bennett v. Schmidt, 153 F.3d 516, 518 (CA7 1998); Ring v. First Interstate Mortgage, Inc., 984 F.2d 924 (CA8 1993). Others, however, maintain that a complaint must contain factual allegations that support each element of a prima facie case. In addition to the case below, see Jackson v. Columbus, 194 F.3d 737, 751 (CA6 1999).
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    Scott v. Harris

    550 U.S. 372 (2007)   Cited 11,280 times   14 Legal Analyses   
    Holding that a videotape of undisputed validity should be treated as providing undisputed facts at summary judgment
    In resolving questions of qualified immunity, courts are required to resolve a "threshold question: Taken in the light most favorable to the party asserting the injury, do the facts alleged show the officer's conduct violated a constitutional right? This must be the initial inquiry." Saucier v. Katz, 533 U. S. 194, 201 (2001). If, and only if, the court finds a violation of a constitutional right, "the next, sequential step is to ask whether the right was clearly established . . . in light of the specific context of the case." Ibid. Although this ordering contradicts "[o]ur policy of avoiding unnecessary adjudication of constitutional issues," United States v. Treasury Employees, 513 U. S. 454, 478 (1995) (citing Ashwander v. TVA, 297 U. S. 288, 346-347 (1936) (Brandeis, J., concurring)), we have said that such a departure from practice is "necessary to set forth principles which will become the basis for a [future] holding that a right is clearly established," Saucier, supra, at 201. We therefore turn to the threshold inquiry: whether Deputy Scott's actions violated the Fourth Amendment.
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    Wong Sun v. United States

    371 U.S. 471 (1963)   Cited 10,694 times   21 Legal Analyses   
    Holding exclusionary rule inapplicable when evidence is acquired through source independent of illegal seizure
    The exclusionary rule has traditionally barred from trial physical, tangible materials obtained either during or as a direct result of an unlawful invasion. It follows from our holding in Silverman v. United States, 365 U.S. 505, that the Fourth Amendment may protect against the overhearing of verbal statements as well as against the more traditional seizure of "papers and effects." Similarly, testimony as to matters observed during an unlawful invasion has been excluded in order to enforce the basic constitutional policies. McGinnis v. United States, 227 F.2d 598. Thus, verbal evidence which derives so immediately from an unlawful entry and an unauthorized arrest as the officers' action in the present case is no less the "fruit" of official illegality than the more common tangible fruits of the unwarranted intrusion. See Nueslein v. District of Columbia, 115 F.2d 690. Nor do the policies underlying the exclusionary rule invite any logical distinction between physical and verbal evidence. Either in terms of deterring lawless conduct by federal officers, Rea v. United States, 350 U.S. 214, or of closing the doors of the federal courts to any…
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