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Professor Pettys cited by US Supreme Court and Iowa Supreme Court

A great strength of Iowa Law is its accomplished faculty. One example is that on just one day in June 2018 the work of Professor Pettys was cited in opinions in both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Iowa Supreme Court. The breadth of Pettys’s work is reflected in the fact that the cases were entirely unrelated. In Carpenter v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Fourth Amendment requires a search warrant to obtain a criminal suspect’s location data from cell phone towers, Justice Gorsuch’s dissent cited a 2011 article by Professor Pettys on how judges decide constitutional cases. (Professor Pettys is cited in the slip opinion on page 13 of the Gorsuch dissent.) In Honomachi v. Valley View Swine, the Iowa Supreme Court took up the question of the legality of an Iowa law that implicated the operation of animal feeding operations. In a concurring opinion, one of the justices cited Pettys’s work on how Iowa judges interpret the Iowa Constitution. (Professor Pettys is cited on page 26 in the concurring opinion of Justice Tom Waterman). Some scholars work an entire career without ever being cited by a court. From a professor’s point of view, such citations are gratifying because they demonstrate that one’s work is impacting decision-makers and ultimately the public.

Pettys is the H. Blair and Joan V. White Chair in Civil Litigation and, among other subjects, teaches constitutional law to first year students.

Todd Pettys