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Although the most memorable cases from the Supreme Court’s 2021-22 Term were on the civil side of its docket, the Court addressed significant cases on the criminal side involving the Confrontation Clause, capital punishment, double jeopardy, criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country, and important statutory interpretation principles, such as the mens rea presumption and the scope of the rule of lenity. Looking back, the Court’s decisions limiting individuals’ access to remedies for violations of their constitutional criminal procedure rights stand out. Shinn v. Ramirez and Shoop v. Twyford drastically limit the ability of persons incarcerated in state facilities to challenge the ineffectiveness of their trial counsel in federal habeas proceedings by prohibiting them from introducing new evidence to support their claims. Egbert v. Boule again narrowed individuals’ access to Bivens remedies against federal officials, and Vega v. Tekoh held that individuals may not sue state officials under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for Miranda violations. Dicta in some cases suggest possible future restrictions on individuals’ constitutional criminal procedure remedies. For example, in Brown v. Davenport, Justice Gorsuch wrote a majority decision that reconstructed the history of federal habeas corpus review to suggest that the Great Writ should be limited to correcting jurisdictional defects. And the Tekoh majority dropped a footnote questioning the legitimacy of the Miranda decision itself. This was Justice Breyer’s last Term on the Court, and he spent it, for the most part, writing and joining dissents. He authored powerful dissenting opinions in both the Boston Marathon bombing case and the Second Amendment case on the right to bear arms in public.


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