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For four federal criminal defendants in the Southern District of California, the United States Supreme Court just took away a little major victory they had scored on behalf of all federal criminal defendants in that federal district.

In the United States v. Sanchez-Gomez case, a unanimous Supreme Court reversed the holding of the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, that the Federal District Court for the Southern District of California's policy to shackle criminal defendants' hands and feet was unconstitutional. And while the Ninth Circuit truly grappled with the merits of the facts and law, SCOTUS saw an opportunity to give the whole case the old moot boot, and the whole Court took it.

Court: Extra-Territorial Wiretaps 'Not Insufficient'

Rejecting arguments to suppress evidence in a drug case, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the power of a judge to issue wiretap orders outside a trial court's jurisdiction.

In Dahda v. United States, a Kansas judge issued wiretap orders that were used to intercept communications in Kansas and other states. The justices held unanimously that the wiretap orders were "not insufficient" under a federal wiretap statute.

The Court rejected the defendants' argument that allowing judges extra-territorial jurisdiction produced "bizarre" results.

A unanimous decision was reached in the controversial Byrd v. United States case, reversing the decisions of the appellate and district courts, which held that an officer did not need probable cause or consent to search a rental vehicle when the driver and sole occupant was not listed on the rental agreement.

As the High Court explained, the fact that a driver isn't listed on a rental agreement does not, in and of itself, impact a person's reasonable expectation in privacy. In short, the Court ruled that so long as a driver is legally in possession of the vehicle, Fourth Amendment protections still apply.

Although the majority of the internet world supported Microsoft's efforts to quash the search warrant that sought to obtain data that was stored abroad, by the time the case made it to the Supreme Court, Congress had passed a new law that effectively decided the dispute.

Curiously though, rather than let SCOTUS rule and affirm the warrant based on the newly passed law, a new warrant was issued and Microsoft just gave up, essentially forcing the hand of the Justices to dismiss for mootness, or, more colloquially, give the case the ole moot boot.

Rod Blagojevich may not be the hot news topic that he once was back when he got convicted for trying to sell former President Obama's Illinois senate seat (vacated when he was sworn in as POTUS), as well as his other corruption charges. But the recent rejection of his appeal by the U.S. Supreme Court put the disgraced politician in the headlines, hopefully just one last time before he's released in half a decade.

Blagojevich was appealing to the High Court in hopes of shortening up his 14 year sentence. SCOTUS rejected the appeal, which argued that his status as a "model prisoner" should earn him some time off. However, when you get convicted on 17 out of 20 corruption charges, after a second trial, and your sentence is affirmed a couple times, chances are you don't have a chance with SCOTUS, even if you've been on the Celebrity Apprentice.

The case of Vernon Madison has been headline news since his most recent round of appeals got started back in 2016. Madison, an inmate in his late 60s, contends that he should not be executed because he cannot remember committing the crime that landed him on death row. Now, the Supreme Court is gearing up to hear Madison's case for a second time.

While that novel argument seems to defy all credulity, Madison's failing memory is actually an undisputed fact, and case law establishes that a convict should not be executed unless they can "rationally understand the connection between the crime he committed and the punishment he is to receive." Madison has suffered multiple strokes, and as a result, can't remember who the last president was, let alone the crime he committed over 30 years ago.

The seemingly never-ending justice roller coaster for Brendan Dassey just keeps going and going. After his successful appeal was overturned by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals en banc, a petition was filed with SCOTUS to challenge the circuit's decision.

Recently, it was announced that Dassey's legal team has retained noted litigators who have made several appearances before SCOTUS -- though interestingly, the specific attorneys were neither noted nor named. Dassey's attorney, Steven Drizin, did note though that the High Court has warned that appearing before it without a "seasoned" litigator was akin to malpractice.

Supreme Court Hears Murder Case Where Lawyer Admitted Client's Guilt

So if a lawyer decides to tell the jury his client is guilty -- and the the jury returns a death sentence -- does the malpractice carrier pay to execute the lawyer?

It's a bad joke, but what else can you say when a lawyer makes such a grave decision? Unfortunately for Robert McCoy, he is still on death row after his conviction for a triple murder.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court considers the sobering question: When a defendant in a capital case says "not guilty," can his attorney say "guilty?"

What Will SCOTUS Do About Warrantless Vehicle Searches?

Police pulled over Terrence Byrd for a traffic violation and learned he was not on the rental car agreement -- his girlfriend was.

That was not a crime, but then they searched the car and found heroin in the trunk. That was a crime.

During arguments in Byrd v. United States, the question was whether the warrantless search violated the defendant's Fourth Amendment rights. The U.S. Supreme Court, for the moment, didn't have the answer.

The Supreme Court recently heard arguments in the Christie v. NCAA matter. The questions asked by the justices and their responses are leading commentators to believe the High Court could very well legalize sports gambling not just in Jersey, but nationwide.

Some justices were rather skeptical of the argument that the 1992 federal gaming prohibition was an overreach of Congress's authority to regulate state activity, and particularly what that would mean for similar congressional enactments. But, as reports have noted, other justices, including Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Roberts and Alito, were much more receptive.