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December 5, 2005

Not much sentencing in today's SCOTUS work

The Supreme Court's order list this morning, which is available here, does not have much for sentencing fanatics.  Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog details in this post that cert. was granted only in two cases, including one intriguing criminal case, Clark v. Arizona (05-5966), exploring the "constitutional duty of states to allow evidence of insanity to be used as a defense in criminal cases." 

The order list does not have any Booker GVRs; it does have a lot of cert denieds that appear to be criminal cases.  I wonder if anyone keeps a count on how many criminal case cert petitions are denied each term.  (My guess is that Blakely and Booker have (significantly?) increased the number of petitions and denials.)

Interestingly, missing yet again from the order list the Gomez case from Tennessee (background in this post).  As shown from this docket sheet, Gomez was conferenced for a second time last Friday.  The lack of action again in Gomez adds still more intrigue to the question of whether, when and how the Supreme Court may take up one of the state supreme court rulings that have avoided the application of Blakely.  It also leads me to this question: could a summary reversal be in the works in Gomez?

December 5, 2005 at 11:40 AM | Permalink


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Gomez, as well as Black (the Cal. Supreme Court decision which distinguished Blakely in a similar manner as Gomez did), are as least as contrary to Blakely and Booker as, for instance, some Ninth Circuit AEDPA decision are contrary to Williams v. Taylor. So the criteria for summary reversal may exist. Yet, I doubt the Court is as comfortable summarily reversing a state court, as it is a federal court of appeals. In any event, it's too soon to predict summary reveral in Gomez given that the Court might just be awaiting the Cal. AG's response in the pending Cal. Blakely cases, such as Black and Cunningham. See my post here: http://www.crimblawg.com/2005/12/state_blakely_c.html. If, after the AG's response is filed in Black, both Gomez and Black get carried over from conference to conference, then the lack of an order takes on more significance.

Posted by: Jonathan Soglin | Dec 5, 2005 12:16:03 PM

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