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February 1, 2005

Multi-branch Booker rumors and suggestions

The Booker buzz is coming from all three branches of the federal government today.  I will quickly report some of what I am hearing, make suggestions along the way, and encourage readers who might be in the know to report additional information (and suggestions) in the comments. 

The Legislative Branch's response to Booker: I have been hearing buzz now for some time about efforts afoot in the US House of Representatives to craft a legislative response to Booker, and today the buzz has turned into a story that the House has plans for hearings next week.  I suggest that hearings, if they are in the works, be sure to include a broad array of constituents, especially persons from the states who are familiar with the pros and cons of advisory guideline systems.

The Executive Branch's response to Booker: I have been hearing buzz now for some time about a memo from Main Justice to all federal prosecutors setting out DOJ policies and procedures in the wake of Booker.  I suggest that DOJ make this document publicly available on its website, since blogs should not have to be the paper of record for important materials like this.

The Judiciary Branch's response to Booker: Two components here:  (1) I believe the US Sentencing Commission (remember, it's in the Judicial bBanch) has already announced that it will be having hearings about Booker in two weeks.  In addition to again encouraging a broad array of participants, I hope the USSC will have preliminary post-Booker sentencing data to share before or during the hearings.  (2) I surmise that most federal judges are finding that the Breyer Booker remedy is working pretty well, at least for now, and that judges may soon be collectively advocating the status quo for now (similar to the ABA's recommendation).  I suggest that members of the federal judiciary not be afraid to become vocal advocates in the coming policy debate, since district and circuit judges have unique and critical perspectives on both the pros and cons of the pre-Blakely guidelines and the pros and cons of our new post-Booker realities.

February 1, 2005 at 04:51 PM | Permalink


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I hear of Crime Subcommittee hearings on 2/10.

Posted by: David in NY | Feb 1, 2005 4:59:34 PM

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