Supreme Court Refuses To Decide Constitutional Necessity Of Insanity Defense

Washington, DC – On news this morning that the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in the case of Delling v. Idaho, a constitutional challenge to Idaho’s lack of an insanity defense under state criminal law, Constitutional Accountability Center Chief Counsel Elizabeth Wydra issued the following statement: 


“The Court’s refusal to hear Delling is disappointing.  The three Justices dissenting from the Court’s denial of review got it right—from ancient Greece to the British common law, from the American Founding to the rebirth of the Nation in the wake of the Civil War, the integrity of the criminal justice system has necessitated the availability of an insanity defense.  The Court should have taken Mr. Delling’s case to make sure that every state in the nation respects this long history of legal and moral tradition and provides constitutionally-mandated due process of law. Given the lengthy history of this doctrine, this cannot be the final word on this important question.” 






CAC case page in Delling v. Idaho, including link to our brief urging the Court to hear the case: 




Constitutional Accountability Center ( is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history.