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Judicial Reform Seventh Circuit

United States Court of Appeals: 7th Circuit

Leans Pro Freedom
Total Judgeships: 

11 (2 vacancy)

Political Makeup: 

3 Dem – 6 GOP

Location(s): 
Chicago, Illinois
Jurisdictions: 
Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin
Caseload: 

2,917

About The Court:

The Seventh Circuit Court was established on December 10, 1869 and is known to be one of the most modern courts of appeals, offering oral arguments and opinions over internet resources such as RSS feeds and a wiki. The only other court with similar features is the Eleventh Circuit, which offers RSS feeds.

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Recent Cases

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Police Abuse Their Authority

Tue, 03/11/2014

White v. Stanley: Police officers went to Nancy Hille's home to arrest her after being notified that her vehicle registration sticker was stolen. Her boyfriend, James White, refused to let them inside, but the officers smelled marijuana, blocked the door from being closed, and tackled him on the stairs. White claims to have suffered an injury, and the officers arrested him for resisting an officer—a charge later dismissed. White filed a suit, claiming false arrest and excessive force, and the District Court ruled in his favor.

Decision

The Seventh Circuit reversed the decision, noting "fractured case law" concerning entry after smelling marijuana.

Read the full decision here
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Police Officer Denied Qualified Immunity

Mon, 03/10/2014

Huff v. Reichert: Huff and Seaton were pulled over by Officer Reichert for crossing the center line without signaling and then moving back. Dispatch related that Huff had been arrested, but had no convictions. Reichert told Huff he was letting him go with a warning, but asked if he objected to a search with his dog. When Huff asked if he was free to go, Reichert responded, “not in the car.” Huff stated that he felt he had to consent. Reichert repeatedly said, “Show me! Find it!” He later admitted that he was trained not to say this to his dog. No drugs were found.

Decision

The Seventh Circuit Court upheld the decision to deny Reichert’s motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity.

Read the full decision here
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GPS Tracking a Car is Not a Search

Tue, 03/04/2014

United States v. Brown: Henry R. Brown was convicted of conspiring to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. Investigators had attached a GPS tracking device to a car in 2006, and evidence traceable to information gathered from this GPS was introduced in court. Based on his criminal history, Brown was sentenced to life imprisonment by the District Court.

Decision

The Seventh Circuit upheld the decision, rejecting an argument that the information from the GPS device should not have been allowed as evidence. The Seventh Circuit held that monitoring a car’s location for an extended time period is not a search, so 4th Amendment rights were not violated.

Read the full decision here

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