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February 20, 2007

Off-line for the rest of fat sentencing Tuesday

After putting off commitments to cover all the morning SCOTUS action, a day of transit now means I will be off-line the rest of today and thus unable to post immediately about the oral arguments in Claiborne and Rita (background here).  Fortunately, same-day transcripting means that, at this SCOTUS link later this afternoon, everyone can read the actions for themselves. 

Comments to this post about what transpired in the reasonableness debate and what it might mean for post-Booker realities are, of course, highly encouraged.  I should be able to consume the transcripts and provide some initial commentary be very late tonight or early tomorrow.

February 20, 2007 at 10:55 AM | Permalink


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I am told that the arguments were very spirited, with active participation from most Justices, including some direct back-and-forth between Scalia and Breyer, with the lawyers reduced to bystanders. Mike Dreeben argued brilliantly for DOJ, I'm told, emphasizing uniformity and control of disparity, focusing on the appellate courts' role (and conceding that the district court's duty is to obey sec 3553(a), not to try to determine what will be considered a "reasonable" sentence -- that's just the appellate court review standard). Both AFPD's argued effectively and seemed well prepared and knowledgeable. Mario Claiborne -- petitioner in the Eighth Circuit case -- was present, sitting in the front row of the audience, to hear the arguments.

Posted by: Peter G | Feb 20, 2007 3:17:25 PM

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