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June 4, 2010

Which still-pending SCOTUS case are you most anticipating?

The Supreme Court is expected to hand down some more opinions next Monday, and all of its pending cases should result in decisions before the end of this month.  Here are five cases (actually, four cases and one set of cases) that I am especially anticipating:

1. McDonald, the Second Amendment incorporation case

2. Dillon, the crack retroactivity case

3. Barber, the good-time credits case

4. Dolan, the restitution order case

5. Black, Skilling, et al., the honest-services cases

I think we may get one (but probably not more than one) of these rulings from SCOTUS next week, though I suspect we won't see most of them McDonald until the very last few days of the Term at the end of this month.

June 4, 2010 at 08:48 AM | Permalink


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Definitely the honest services cases.

Posted by: Marc Shepherd | Jun 4, 2010 8:50:03 AM

I agree with Marc Shepherd, although McDonald should also be fun.

I don't know if the country needs, or will have, an "honest services" statute, but it sure as hell could use a boost in honesty.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jun 4, 2010 10:47:57 AM

Dillon and Barber will help the most people and will save some bucks for taxpayers.. Although not exciting as cases go, I would like to see something positive happen.

Posted by: Abe | Jun 4, 2010 11:28:42 AM

Can we not show some love for Carachuri-Rosendo?

Posted by: Texas Lawyer | Jun 4, 2010 12:41:01 PM

I love you Carachuri-Rosendo.

Posted by: RW | Jun 4, 2010 6:00:50 PM

I would like to hear a definition of honest services that does not involve mind reading, that does not unlawfully and unfairly subject the defendant to outcome bias, nor to any other cognitive bias.

Gift to defense bar here. This is a list of cognitive biases. If the defendant is subjected to any, then his procedural due process right to a fair trial and right to Equal Protection have been violated.


Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 4, 2010 11:16:06 PM

If Court takes the occasion offered by Carachuri-Rosendo to overrule Almendarez-Torres, so that priors will have to be pleaded and proved BRD, it will be really big news for criminal practitioners.

Posted by: margy | Jun 4, 2010 11:39:21 PM

It'll be a pipeline issue, mostly. Guys between verdict and direct appeal may get a break, but after that, they'll just exact stipulations on pleas, or prove it to a jury. Anyway, they've scrupulously dodged it for 12 years. I imagine they can resist the chance to speak on it, unless Sotomayor (replacing Souter) is ready to provide a fifth vote in support of it.

Posted by: RW | Jun 5, 2010 1:48:57 AM

Black, et al. Not that I know a great deal about it, but it seems to me that, because the law on honest services fraud is so vague, it gives AUSAs and other federal investigators tremendous amounts of power and leeway in prosecuting individuals for what may be relatively innocuous harms.

Posted by: Guy | Jun 7, 2010 11:10:34 AM

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