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May 15, 2006

Minimal mid-May SCOTUS action in the criminal justice arena

As detailed here at SCOTUSblog, the Supreme Court today granted cert on four cases and issued opinions in four argued cases.  There seems to be only one notable criminal justice highlight in all this mid-May SCOTUS action: the Court granted cert to address whether its 2004 decision in Crawford on cross-examination rights applies retroactively.  I believe this Crawford retroactivity cert grant is driven in part by a circuit split, though it still makes me grumpy that SCOTUS still has never addressed Apprendi or Blakely or Booker retroactivity, even though a lot more criminal judgments turn on the retroactive applicability of those decisions than on Crawford.

I think with the new group of cert grants, SCOTUS is starting to remedy its calender deficit for next Term and also starting to add more civil cases to a '06 Term docket that has so far been especially heavy with criminal justice cases (details discussed here).  On the same theme, with the release of four civil case opinions today, I think now most of the opinions still in the works for this Term involve criminal justice issues.  (Unsurprisingly, today's SCOTUS action reveals that the Court did not decide, as I suggested here, to prioritize in its late Term work the Hill case regarding the procedures for lethal injection challenges.)

May 15, 2006 at 10:41 AM | Permalink


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