On the first Monday in October, the Supreme Court of the United States begins its new term. Although the court generally hears more than of 70 cases each term, only 39 cases were set to be heard by the court as of the start of this year's term — which began on Monday, Oct. 1. So, there is much still unknown about what will be happening this year at the court, but it's already stacking up as a potentially blockbuster one.
Here's why it matters:
Esther Kiobel filed the case in U.S. courts under the Alien Tort Statute, a 1789 law, saying her husband Barinem Kiobel was executed by the Nigerian military with the alleged backing of [Royal Dutch] Shell. ...
Shell argued the issue shouldn't be considered in U.S. courts because it's a foreign company facing claims for actions outside the United States. Kiobel is a Nigerian national, though the Alien Tort Statute gives foreign nationals the right to sue in federal courts for alleged violations of international law or treaties signed by the United States with foreign countries.
Police forces across the country have found that dogs, which have a highly developed sense of smell, can be trained to detect specific odors, such as scents from a human body, or the odors given off by illegal drugs. This makes police dogs highly valued partners to police as they search for missing persons, or for illegal narcotics. When a trained dog’s capacity to detect a certain odor has been formally certified by an expert, the evidence that police gain from dog searches frequently is permitted in criminal cases in court. But the Supreme Court several times has had to rule on whether a search by a trained police dog is the kind of inspection that must be done so that it does not violate the constitutional right to privacy of the individual targeted.
Chris Geidner is a Supreme Court correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
Contact Chris Geidner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.