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January 6, 2006

Will SCOTUS take up a core state Blakely case this term?

Thanks to this post by Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog, you can read summaries of the six new cases on which the Supreme Court just granted cert.  Two are criminal cases, but neither involves sentencing issues.  (One, Zedner v. U.S. (05-5992), considers "whether the 70-day time limit under the Speedy Trial Act for bringing an accused to trial is subject to harmless-error analysis."  We can thus prepare for a harmless-error spring: as detailed in these posts, SCOTUS in a few months will explore in Washington v. Recuenco whether Blakely errors can be subject to harmless-error analysis.)

In light of these six new grants, I am starting to wonder if the SCOTUS dance card is now almost full.  As noted in this January preview, the Court is still actively considering cert. petitions from defendants in California and Tennessee (details here), who complain that their states' high courts have illegitimately dodged the application of Blakely.  Though I have been speculating that cert. will be granted in one of these cases, this latest large set of SCOTUS grants leaves me less sure.

January 6, 2006 at 03:50 PM | Permalink


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Yes, as the Court fills its calendar, less room is left for the state Blakely cases. Summary reversal is making more and more sense. Do they ever do that to state high courts?

Links to the dockets of several of the pending California cert petitions can be found here: http://www.fdap.org/blakely4.html. Except for Chioino, none are currently distributed for a conference.

Posted by: Jonathan Soglin | Jan 7, 2006 12:16:06 AM

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