Supreme Court overturns New York gun law

(J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Aside from today’s ruling on guns, the Supreme Court today issued three other opinions. This is what they are about:

GOP lawmakers can intervene to defend North Carolina voter identification law, Supreme Court rules

Two Republican leaders of the North Carolina legislature could intervene to defend the state’s voter identification law, even though the state’s attorney general, a Democrat, is already doing so, the Supreme Court said.

The advice will make it easier for other state government officials to intervene in lawsuits in some cases when the state government is divided.

Supreme Court makes it easier for inmates on death row to challenge execution method

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a death row inmate in Georgia who is challenging the state’s lethal injection protocol and attempting to die by firing squad — a method currently not allowed in the state.

The court said the inmate could file the challenge under a federal civil rights law that allows individuals to seek legal remedies when their constitutional rights are violated. The decision could make it easier for inmates to challenge their possible method of execution.

Supreme Court Limits Ability To Enforce Miranda Rights

The court limited its ability to enforce Miranda rights in a ruling that suspects who have not been warned of their right to remain silent cannot sue a police officer for damages under the federal civil rights law, even if the evidence was ultimately used against them in their criminal proceedings.

The ruling will reduce an individual’s protection against self-incrimination by excluding the possibility of seeking damages. It also means that failing to act on the warning will not expose a law enforcement officer to potential harm in a civil lawsuit. However, it does not affect the exclusion of such evidence during a criminal trial.

The court clarified that while the Miranda warning protects a constitutional right, the warning itself is not a right that would raise the possibility of a civil lawsuit.

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