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June 28, 2005

More death and habeas from SCOTUS

Fittingly, only hours after I kvetched here about all the capital and habeas cases clogging up the Supreme Court's docket, we get word from Lyle Denniston in this post at SCOTUSblog that the Court today has granted cert on another capital case from the Sixth Circuit and another habeas case from the Ninth Circuit. 

Relatedly, Tom Goldstein in this post provides a copy of this informative document listing all of the SCOTUS cases granted for next Term.  Based on that list, which seems to comprise about half of the Court's likely docket for next Term, I see the Court has already taken four capital cases and a number of habeas cases, but not a single case that deals with any of the post-Blakely and post-Booker questions that seem, at least to me, to be much more pressing and of much greater national import.

Considering my prior rants here and here about the Supreme Court's expenditure of so much time and energy on death penalty cases, I suppose I should just stop tilting at Blakey/Booker windmills.  Nevertheless, last month I outlined in this post just some of the post-Blakely and post-Booker questions that I think merit the Supreme Court's attention, and none of these issues have gone away.  Moreover, now that the Supreme Courts of Tennessee and California have issued questionable rulings about Blakely's reach, I think the cert. worthy issues in this arena only continue to grow.

Given the Supreme Court's tendency of late, in the sentencing arena and elsewhere, to make modern doctrines even more opaque and confusing, perhaps I should be thankful that we will all have to wait at least until next spring before getting any more Blakey/Booker "wisdom" from the Court.  In the meantime, I will continue to speculate (and kvetch) about why only those defendants who are sentenced to death now capture the Supreme Court's attention.

June 28, 2005 at 12:52 PM | Permalink


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