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October 1, 2004

Making book on Booker and Fanfan timing

Last month I discussed here the need for a quick ruling in Booker and Fanfan and speculated about when we can expect the cases to be decided. I am getting more and more questions of late about timing, and I continue to think mid-November is a reasonable prediction. (Notably, the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission says in its recent report "the consensus among many in the legal field is that a ruling will be forthcoming by the end of this year.")

Anyone else willing to make guesses in the comments about when Booker and Fanfan will be handed down? I will encourage Howard Bashman, who seems obsessed with bobblehead Supreme Court Justice dolls, to send a bobblehead doll to anyone who gets the date right.

October 1, 2004 at 05:24 PM | Permalink


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I am an attorney (research and writing specialist) with the Federal Defender in Delaware. Thanks for the great blog. I'm guessing Nov. 18. Also, in case you hadn't already heard, the Third Circuit dropped the following Blakely footnote a couple weeks ago in United States v. Moorer, 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 19522 (3rd Cir. September 20, 2004):
"Moorer submitted a pro se brief arguing that under Blakely v. Washington, 159 L. Ed. 2d 403, 124 S. Ct. 2531 (2004), a jury should have determined whether he was a career offender. We reject this argument, as Blakely governed only factual determinations, and Moorer's status as a career offender was purely a matter of law under the Sentencing Guidelines."
As easy it was for the Third Circuit to skirt this issue, I'm surprised they broached it at all, considering their virtual silence on Blakely.

Posted by: jonathan pignoli | Oct 1, 2004 6:33:46 PM

Dec. 16. not a lawyer, just curious.

Posted by: matthew gniazdowski | Oct 2, 2004 9:57:42 AM

It pretty much has to be a date the Court is "in session," right? So 11/18 is out. See their calendar: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/oral_arguments/courtcalendar.pdf . I'm going with Monday, 12/6/04.

Posted by: Peter G | Oct 2, 2004 4:03:24 PM

I guess November 8. I'm just a prospective law student doing an internship here in D.C. I saw the oral arguments yesterday and the justices seemed rather unconvinced by Paul Clement's arguments. But they didn't seem any more sure of any solution. It will be interesting.

Posted by: Peter R. | Oct 5, 2004 1:57:07 PM

Based on Court precedent, I believe they will hand down their decision in BookFan the day they recess for the Christmas holidays.

Posted by: Richard Crane | Oct 23, 2004 10:58:54 AM

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