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July 11, 2005

Making mid-season assessments

Though others are surely gearing up for more SCOTUS mania this week, the two big events on my weekly planner are (1) the MLB All-Star Game in Detroit this Tuesday, and (2) an expected release of updated post-Booker data from the US Sentencing Commission (to appear on this page, I suspect) in conjunction with the National Sentencing Policy Institute run by the USSC and FJC on Monday and Tuesday in Washington DC (background here).  Both events mark interesting half-way points: in the baseball universe, writers can assess the season at its symbolic midpoint; in the Booker universe, tomorrow just happens to mark the six-month anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision making the federal guidelines advisory.

Interestingly, I recall that last year I was analogizing the MLB All-Star Game to the line-up of stellar witnesses scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which conducted a major hearing only weeks after Blakely was handed down (nostalgia here and here and here).  In contrast, this year we are now a full six months out from the Booker ruling with no serious Senate discussion of a possible Booker fix — though, of course, the House and AG Gonzales have been talking up a Booker fix (background here).

Especially with the Senate now fixated on SCOTUS transition(s), I doubt we will see any serious federal legislative developments in the sentencing arena at least until the Fall.  But, then again, a number of summer developments — ranging from the forthcoming new Booker data to the uncertain future of AG Gonzales and DOJ (discussed in this interesting Legal Times article) — could quickly shift the post-Booker universe.

July 11, 2005 at 01:50 PM | Permalink


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