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August 14, 2006

A criminal start to OT '06 for SCOTUS

Howard Bashman has this new "On Appeal" column posted at law.com, which is entitled "A Look Ahead to First Oral Arguments of New Supreme Court Term."   By my count, five of the nine hours of oral argument scheduled between Oct. 3 and Oct. 11 involve criminal law issues, and three of these hours are particularly focused on sentencing issues. 

Of these, the biggie is Cunningham, the California Blakely case, to be argued October 11.  Cunningham will likely impact not just sentencing in California, but in every jurisdiction still trying to sort out the post-Blakely and post-Booker world.  Howard's column suggests that "none of the 2006 term's blockbuster opinions may emerge from the Court's very first oral argument session," but I am getting prepared for the possibility that Cunningham could be even bigger than Booker.

Useful related Cunningham posts:

UPDATE:  Coincidentally, SCOTUSblog has this post discussing the Court's schedule for its November arguments.  Almost half of the scheduled argument hours involve criminal-law-related issues.  Tuesday, November 7 (which happens to be election day), is the date for sentencing fans to have circled on their calender.  Here's the SCOTUS argument schedule for that day:

James v. U.S. (05-9264) -- attempted burglary as a "violent felony" under Armed Career Criminal Act.

Burton v. Waddington (05-9222) -- retroactivity of Blakely v.Wahington on state criminal sentencing guidelines.

August 14, 2006 at 02:17 PM | Permalink


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