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December 13, 2004

Sentencing (and immigration) is hard work

While contemplating another month of contemplating what the Supreme Court is contemplating in Booker and Fanfan, I thought it worth noting a pattern in the Court's work this fall.  Interestingly, the Justices have now decided all the cases heard in October except its two big sentencing cases (Booker/Fanfan on the federal guidelines; Roper on the juvenile death penalty) and a few immigration cases (basic case details here and here from SCOTUSblog). 

Thus, it seems the High Court is most divided, or just particularly slow, on matters of sentencing and immigration (though I should note that the Court's very first opinion this term, Leocal v. Ashcroft, involved the intersection of immigration and sentencing).  This pattern also suggests, I suppose, that whichever Justices are most likely to be writing on immigration issues are least likely to be authoring the sentencing opinions.

TealeafreadingCREDITS: This latest exhibition in obsessive tasseography owes thanks to Howard Bashman for the case information, and also for his speculations here about who may be writing Booker and Fanfan based on which Justices have yet to author a majority opinion from the Supreme Court's October 2004 argument session.

December 13, 2004 at 02:23 PM | Permalink


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