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January 4, 2005

Could Booker/Fanfan impact the Chief Justice sweepstakes?

The blogsphere continues to buzz about possible replacements for Chief Justice Rehnquist, and of late the talk has been a lot about Justice Thomas.  Some of the interesting posts are collected  at SCOTUSblog here and this week's Legal Affairs Debate Club asks "Should Clarence Thomas be Chief Justice?"

Of course, consistent with my "Blakely gets no respect" commentary (details here and here), none of this talk notes Justice Thomas' interesting role and opinions in the Blakely line of precedents.  Justice Thomas became the key fifth vote in Apprendi (after a contrary vote two years earlier in Almendarez-Torres), and his opinions in both Apprendi and for the dissenters in Harris are remarkable in many ways.  If, as some have speculated, Justice Thomas is writing the opinion in Booker and Fanfan to strike down the federal sentencing guidelines, it is fun to speculate how such a headline-making ruling might impact the public and political dialogues about the next Chief.

January 4, 2005 at 04:07 PM | Permalink


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This is a great blog. For more information on the impact of Booker and Fanfan visit:


For a copy of the decision in Booker and Fanfan visit


Posted by: Chip Venie | Jan 13, 2005 12:33:29 PM

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