Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Reviewing Wallace v Kato

The Short Skinny on Wallace v. Kato from Scotusblog and a longer piece by Kent (Crime and Consequences), here:

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority. There were two Justices in partial dissent. The case was Wallace v. Kato (05-1240, download here). In that case, the statute of limitations for filing a civil rights claim was two years, under Illinois law.

The false arrest claim in the civil rights lawsuit by Andre Wallace of Chicago had its origin, the Court ruled, when he appeared before a magistrate after his arrest and was bound over for trial. More than two years elapsed between that date and the day he filed his lawsuit, and thus, the Court decided, the lawsuit was too late.

The Scalia opinion was supported by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and by Justices Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Anthony M. Kennedy, and Clarence Thomas. Justice John Paul Stevens joined in the result only, along with Justice David H. Souter. Justice Stephen G. Breyer dissented, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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