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January 8, 2006

How will the USSC be celebrating Booker's birthday?

As noted in this January preview, the coming Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the Booker decision.  As discussed here and here, there are rumors that both Congress and the Justice Department may celebrate this date with Booker fix activity, although the distraction of the Alito hearings and other higher-profile legal happenings might well delay any planned Booker action from Congress and DOJ.

One body which should not be distracted by other legal goings on is the US Sentencing Commission. I cannot help but wonder if the USSC has something in the works for January 12.  Notably, the USSC homepage now notes that the Commission has a public meeting scheduled for this coming Wednesday afternoon, right before Booker's anniversary.  However, the meeting's announced agenda suggests that nothing Booker special is planned.

For more on what the Commission has been up to lately, check out this interesting Q & A with USSC Chair Ricardo Hinojosa from the December issue of the Third Branch.  In the colloquy, Judge Hinojosa reiterates that "this spring" the Commission "plans to release a report on the impact of Booker on federal sentencing." 

I hope that the USSC, through the release of more data (suggestions here and here) and fresh analysis, tries to be at the forefront of any Booker fix policy debate that may develops in the months ahead.  In addition, as suggested here, since it has now been a full 11 months since the USSC convened a big public hearing to discuss the impact of Blakely and Booker on the federal sentencing system, I think the USSC ought to have another big public meeting about the federal sentencing world after Booker ASAP. 

January 8, 2006 at 02:39 PM | Permalink

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