American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Court Review, Volume 52, Issue 4 (2016)


Copyright American Judges Association. Used by permission.


In a way, we had not one but two Supreme Courts last Term.1 The first Court sat from October 5, 2015, to February 12, 2016. The Term of the successor Court began on February 13, 2016, when Associate Justice Antonin Scalia unexpectedly passed away on a Texas ranch. We will review important criminal-law decisions from both 2015-2016 Courts. But for those who adjudicate, study, prosecute, or defend criminal cases, the death of Justice Scalia was the most significant aspect of the year. Whether one was a fan of his jurisprudence or not, it is impossible to deny his outsized impact upon the Court for almost three decades. We will begin by noting some of his most influential criminal-law and procedure opinions before turning to the rulings of the 2015-2016 Term.