Findlaw Case Summaries: U.S. Supreme Court. 04/21/2009

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ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, GOVERNMENT BENEFITS, MILITARY LAW Shinseki v. Sanders, No. 07-1209 In an application for veterans’ disability benefits, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s holding that the Department of Veterans Affairs erred in denying benefits is reversed, where the Federal Circuit’s “harmless-error” framework conflicts with 38 U.S.C. section 7261(b)(2)’s requirement that the Veterans Court take “due account of the rule of prejudicial error.”

CIVIL PROCEDURE, DISPUTE RESOLUTION & ARBITRATION, GOVERNMENT LAW, INJURY AND TORT LAW, INTERNATIONAL LAW, JUDGMENT ENFORCEMENT Ministry of Def. v. Elahi, No. 07-615 In an action seeking to attach a judgment obtained by Iran, the District Court’s order permitting the attachment is reversed, where Plaintiff could not attach the judgment because he waived his right to do so, as the U.S. paid Plaintiff as partial compensation for his judgment against Iran under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act
CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, EVIDENCE Arizona v. Gant, No. 07-542
The Arizona Supreme Court’s reversal of Defendant’s drug conviction is affirmed, where police may search the passenger compartment of a vehicle incident to a recent occupant’s arrest only if it is reasonable to believe that an arrestee might access the vehicle at the time of the search or that the vehicle contains evidence of the offense of arrest.

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