Judge Garland’s criminal law jurisprudence has a decidedly pro-government bent, but not uniformly so. We think it’s fair to characterize his general approach as pragmatic, and sometimes less concerned with formalities than his peers on the D.C. Circuit.
We’ve included two opinions touching on the Fourth Amendment, United States v. Brown, 334 F.3d 1161 (1998), and United States v. Webb, 255 F.3d 890 (2001). Notably, his opinion in Brown may evince a preference not to second-guess a police officer’s assessment of potential threats on the ground. In three sentencing cases, United States v. Wilson, 240 F.3d 39 (2001) (Garland, J., dissenting), United States v. Bras, 483 F.3d 103 (2007), and United States v. Webb, 255 F.3d 890 (2001), Garland voted to uphold a challenged sentence. However, in Bras, he did take a pro-defendant position in holding that defendants need not object to the reasonableness of a sentence in order to preserve the issue for appeal. Similarly, in three criminal trial procedure cases included here,United States v. Spinner, 152 F.3d 950 (1998) (Garland, J., dissenting), United States v. Watson, 171 F.3d 695 (1999) (Garland, J., dissenting), and United States v. Mejia, 448 F.3d 436 (2006), Garland voted against criminal defendants claiming error in the trial court. Finally, we have included Valdes v. United States, 475 F.3d 1319 (2007) (Garland, J., dissenting), where Garland warned that the majority’s interpretation of an anti-gratuity statute would undermine bribery prosecutions.