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April 21, 2008

Can we thank Judge Posner for the latest ACCA cert grant?

I see now from this post at SCOTUSblog that the Supreme Court's new ACCA case on its docket comes from the Seventh Circuit in a case in which, as detailed here, Judge Posner was in fine form.  The case is US v. Chambers, and SCOTUSblog as all the cert papers assembled here for those interested in seeing the back-story for the latest trip into ACCA-land.

April 21, 2008 at 05:36 PM | Permalink


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With all due respect to Judge Posner, I think credit also goes to the public defenders who briefed and argued the case before him, most notably Andrea Smith.

Posted by: Saint Louis David | Apr 22, 2008 9:46:11 AM

Well, I'm sure Ms. Smith served her client well, but I agree that Judge Posner was the real agent of change here and the force behind the cert grant. This issue had been argued and briefed many times before. Judge Posner reluctantly followed precedent, but did so in such a way that really called attention to the problem. His colorful language ("embarassment to the law") and his call for meaningful statistical data no doubt caught the Supreme Court's eye more than any attorney's argument could - especially coming from him.

Posted by: Dorah | Apr 22, 2008 2:12:48 PM

I continue to question how the "crime" of Felon in Possession can be a trigger of ACCA enhancement. An essential element of Felon in Possession is a prior conviction. Which makes the charge a recidivist offense. For two hundred years recidivist offenses have passed double jeopardy muster because they are not crimes. So, how can something that is not a crime trigger ACCA enhancement punishment? I think a felon can be punished for possessing a gun, but the conduct is a violation of a condition or the original felony, or violation of a court order so as to be contempt, to which the sixth amendment does not apply.

bruce cunningham

Posted by: bruce cunningham | Apr 22, 2008 10:15:45 PM

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