Speed Reads


Supreme Court declines to take up Bill Cosby case

The Supreme Court won't be taking the Bill Cosby case.

On Monday, the Supreme Court rejected a request by prosecutors in Pennsylvania to step in and review the case after the disgraced comedian's sexual assault conviction was overturned last year. 

Cosby was convicted in 2018 of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand. But the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in June 2021 overturned his convictionfinding that he shouldn't have been charged in the first place because of a deal he had with a previous prosecutor. Cosby was subsequently released from prison. 

In November, prosecutors asked the Supreme Court to review the case and answer the question, "Where a prosecutor publicly announces that he will not file criminal charges based on lack of evidence, does the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment transform that announcement into a binding promise that no charges will ever be filed, a promise that the target may rely on as if it were a grant of immunity?" Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said the prior prosecutor's agreement shouldn't have prevented Cosby from facing charges, arguing, "This decision as it stands will have far-reaching negative consequences beyond Montgomery County and Pennsylvania. The U.S. Supreme Court can right what we believe is a grievous wrong."

But on Monday, the Supreme Court declined the appeal request, meaning the decision to overturn Cosby's conviction will remain in place.

A spokesperson for Cosby previously criticized prosecutors over the appeal, arguing they were asking the Supreme Court to "throw the Constitution out the window" and that "there is no merit to the DA's request which centers on the unique facts of the Cosby case and has no impact on important federal questions of law." Cosby's spokesperson on Monday praised the Supreme Court for declining to take up the case, saying the justices were "following the rules of law and protecting the constitutional rights of ALL American citizens."