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January 31, 2005

Will Booker come up during the State of the Union?

Anticipating another exciting week of Booker developments, I have begun pondering whether President Bush might say something about sentencing issues in general, and Booker in particular, in Wednesday night's 2005 State of the Union address.  My guess is that the President will not discuss Booker, in part because the decision has been greeted mostly with praise by the media and legal commentators (as reflected in editorials and commentaries collected here and here and here and here), and in part because it seems the Justice Department is itself taking something of a wait-and-see approach to Booker (as suggested by comments discussed here).

It bears recalling that President Bush did discuss sentencing issues in last year's State of the Union.  Calling America "the land of second chance," President Bush in his 2004 State of the Union address spotlighted prisoner re-entry issues and proposed "a four-year, $300 million prisoner re-entry initiative to expand job training and placement services, to provide transitional housing, and to help newly released prisoners get mentoring, including from faith-based groups."  (Some background on these issues can be found in this post.)  This speech was one of the many factors which recently led me to speculate about whether there is "new right" on criminal sentencing issues.

January 31, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink

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