Constitutional Challenges to Detention Post-COVID

A new short piece in the Harvard Law Review Blog, "Constitutional Criminal Procedure Post-COVID," provides an overview of litigation occurring nationwide against local jails, state prisons, federal prisons, and immigration detention centers, as individual people, groups, and persons seeking class certification, file civil rights, habeas, and state law litigation seeking release and improved conditions of confinement post-COVID-19. The litigation has been filed rapidly, seeking emergency orders, and the law has been fast-moving in response.  This piece outlines some of the common constitutional claims, remedies, and procedural questions that have arisen in this litigation. The piece also gives a preview of the outcomes to date: "some courts have already granted relief.  Others have denied relief on the merits or for lack of jurisdiction.  Appellate courts are beginning to review rulings in fast-moving litigation and a rapidly evolving crisis." The piece concludes: "The COVID emergency, however, is highly likely to result not just in new caselaw, but also in a new connection forged between court rules, constitutional rights, and public health."