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December 18, 2006

Ninth Circuit still cleaning up the Booker pipeline

Time for the Booker maniac question of the day.  What's more frightening: (A) that the Ninth Circuit is still struggling with Booker pipeline issues as evidenced by its ruling today in US v. Combs, No. 05-30486 (9th Cir. Dec. 18, 2006) (available here), or (B) that a whole new set of pipeline issues (and perhaps also some old ones) may be the fate of lower courts after SCOTUS decides Claiborne and Rita?

However they answer this question, true Booker maniacs will want to check out Combs.  Judge Kozinski finishes his majority opinion this way: "Because the district judge failed to modify his original sentence in light of these new objections, he acted precisely as Ameline contemplated and we must affirm." Judge Berzon, dissenting, begins her opinion this way: "The majority's peculiar interpretation of the word 'reasonableness' not only defies its common usage in the English language, but more importantly, runs contrary to what this court decided, sitting en banc, in United States v. Ameline, 409 F.3d 1073 (9th Cir. 2005) (en banc)."

December 18, 2006 at 04:12 PM | Permalink

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