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January 22, 2007

Cunningham as a lawyer's and law profs' dream (or nightmare)

Thanks to this SCOTUSblog post, you can find the opinion of the Court in California v. Cunningham here (syllabus here).  The dissent, written by Justice Kennedy and joined by Justice Breyer, is here. Justice Alito's dissent, joined by Kennedy and Breyer, is here.

I have only had a chance to give all the opinions a very quick read, but my first take is that there is A LOT in all of the opinions that every criminal lawyer (and interested law professor) will have to think about.  For those arguing for extensions of Blakely (or against lower court approaches to Booker), there is a lot in all the opinions that should make you smile.  For those eager to have the Court start charting a more cautious, consistent and consensus post-Booker path, there are passages that may make you sad.

Especially since the opinions spend a lot of time discussing federal sentencing law and Claiborne and Rita, I think right now my heart goes out to the DOJ lawyers who had to file bottom-side briefs in those cases today.  I wonder if they can ask for a last-minute extension (or if the timing of the Cunningham ruling is not merely coincidental).

January 22, 2007 at 11:39 AM | Permalink

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» Cunningham Blah blah from PrawfsBlawg
The opinion from the SCT has just been issued on its site, and Lyle Denniston over at SCOTUSBlog summarizes the 6-3 decision striking down California's determinate sentencing law (DSL) scheme. Here's the characterization of the holding from the syllabu... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 22, 2007 3:02:06 PM

» Cunningham Blah blah from PrawfsBlawg
The opinion from the SCT has just been issued on its site, and Lyle Denniston over at SCOTUSBlog summarizes the 6-3 decision striking down California's determinate sentencing law (DSL) scheme. Here's the characterization of the holding from the syllabu... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 22, 2007 3:23:53 PM

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