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July 5, 2005

Judicial federalism: diverse state high court Blakely rulings

With all the state Blakely activity recently in North Carolina and elsewhere (background here and here, commentary here), I decided to celebrate our United States during the patriotic weekend by assembling here prior posts reporting on major state Blakely rulings.  Dividing the rulings by whether Blakely was applied or dodged, we have:


Arizona: The Blakely earthquake hits Arizona, reporting on State v. Brown (Ariz. Oct. 27, 2004).

Colorado: Colorado Supreme Court applies Blakely!, reporting on Lopez v. People (Colo. May 23, 2005).

Indiana: The Indiana Supreme Court speaks on Blakely!, reporting on Smylie v. Indiana (Ind. Mar. 9, 2005).

Maine: Big Blakely rulings from the ends of the Union, reporting on State v. Schofield (Maine June 29, 2005).

Minnesota: Minnesota Supreme Court orders Blakely briefing, reporting on Minnesota v. Shattuck (Minn. Dec. 16, 2004).

North Carolina: Huge Blakely day in North Carolina, reporting on State v. Allen (N.C. July 1, 2005).

Oregon: Oregon Supreme Court decides Dilts (and ducks issues), reporting on Oregon v. Dilts (Or. Dec. 16, 2004).

Washington: Big Blakely doings from where it all started, reporting on Washington v. Hughes (Wash. Apr. 14, 2005).


California: California Supreme Court dodges Blakely, reporting on People v. Black (Cal. June 20, 2005).

Delaware: Nationwide Blakely developments in the states, reporting on Fuller v. State (Del. Oct. 29, 2004); see also Benge v. State (Del. Nov. 12, 2004).

Hawaii: Big Blakely rulings from the ends of the Union, reporting on Hawaii v. Maugaotega (Hawaii June 29, 2005).

Idaho: Blakely not a problem in Idaho, reporting on Idaho v. Stover (Idaho Jan. 6, 2005)

New York: New York's highest court upholds state's felony offender law!, reporting on People v. Rivera (N.Y. June 9, 2005).

Tennessee: Tennessee dodges Blakely, so says divided state supreme court, reporting on Tennessee v. Gomez (Tenn. Apr. 15, 2005).

In addition to these 14 rulings, we should not forget that major Blakely cases are in the works in Michigan, New Jersey and Ohio.  (A ruling from New Jersey's Supreme Court could be coming any day, while the Michigan and Ohio cases have not yet been argued in the state's highest court.)

Though the Blakely and Booker decisions are fascinating in their own right, the various ways these Supreme Court opinions are being understood and applied in the states is an amazing experience in what might be called judicial federalism. (Perhaps jurisprudential federalism might be a better term?)

Though I suspect that the stories of Booker in the federal system will continue to capture most of the headlines (and scholarly commentary), the dynamic realities of Blakely in the states might truly be the most interesting sentencing story of the past year.  And, for that reason, I am pleased to be playing a role in future issues of the Federal Sentencing Reporter and the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law that will be focused on Blakely in the states.

July 5, 2005 at 06:26 PM | Permalink


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