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November 9, 2004

SCOTUS makes news by not deciding

During election week I spotlighted the important issue of felony disenfranchisement here and here, and many expected the issue to again be in the spotlight because the Supreme Court seemed poised to grant cert. on a case challenging, on the basis federal voting rights law, state felony disenfranchisement laws.  But, as detailed in this post from the SCOTUS Blog, the High Court yesterday denied review without explanation in Locke v. Farrakhan (03-1597) and Muntaqim v. Coombe (04-175), cases from the Ninth and Second Circuits respectively, even though those cases establish a circuit split on federal voting rights law.

Though the Supreme Court may make much bigger news if it decides Booker and Fanfan today, the Court got the attention of serious court watchers through these cert. denials.  Here are thoughtful articles about these developments from  the NY Times, the AP, and law.com.  The articles sensibly suggest that the Justices may be waiting for the legal issues to percolate more in the lower courts; a case challenging Florida's broad disenfranchisement law now being considered en banc by the Eleventh Circuit may get the Supreme Court's attention before long.

November 9, 2004 at 06:21 AM | Permalink


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The cynic in me says that maybe they're waiting for the faith-based prison system to gain enough of a stronghold that the ex-felon vote will be safely rebublican-leaning.

That darned inner cynic. I try to banish it, but it keeps raising its ugly head. Any suggestions for banishing it permanently? I don't like thinking this way, but those darned facts get in the way. And it seems that the facts are biased.

Posted by: Jeannie | Nov 9, 2004 10:13:06 AM

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