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November 16, 2011

Fascinating CVRA and FSA issues seemingly ready for SCOTUS review

As I have mentioned before, John Elwood at SCOTUSblog does amazing work keeping up with the cases that the US Supreme Court is keeping in its midst for an unusually long time through his periodic posts labelled "Relist (and Hold) Watch."  And, in this latest installment, he notes sets of cases raising two issues that have gotten a lot of attention on this blog now perhaps finally groomed for SCOTUS review:

The Court relisted for the first time since calling for a response in Fisher v. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, 10-1518, which presents the question whether a crime victim seeking to enforce a right under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act is entitled to ordinary appellate review of a district court’s disposition of his claims, or only more limited mandamus review for clear and indisputable error.  The Court likely relisted Fisher to consider it together with Amy v. Monzel, 11-85, scheduled for the November 22 Conference.  In addition to the standard-of-review question also at issue in Fisher, Amy presents another question, and alleges another circuit split, about the role of proximate cause in restitution awards for victims of child pornography....

The Court also relisted in Davis v. United States, 11-5323, another in the group of petitions discussed last week that the Court is collecting for the November 22 Conference along with Hill v. United States, 11-5721, all addressing whether the Fair Sentencing Act (which reduced the crack-powder sentencing differential) applies in an initial sentencing proceeding that takes place on or after the statute’s effective date if the offense occurred before that date.  As noted last week, it seems all but certain the Court will grant cert. in one of these cases.

My SCOTUS sentencing cup will be running over if the Justices grant review on both these issues in the weeks ahead.  And, if the Court takes up these matters ASAP, what started as a pretty sleepy sentencing Term for the Court could quickly become one of the most interesting to watch in recent years.

November 16, 2011 at 05:46 PM | Permalink

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