« How much have sentencing issues contributed to federal judicial resignations? | Main | SCOTUS to review lethal injection protocols with Kentucky case »

September 25, 2007

Lots of SCOTUS cert grants, including at least one sentencing case

As SCOTUSblog reports here, "the Supreme Court granted certiorari in 17 cases this morning.  The orders list is at this link." Though there seem to be a few criminal cases in the mix, and I noticed Begay v. US on the grant list.  Begay, as noted here, is a case from the Tenth Circuit concerning whether drunk driving convictions should qualify as "violent felonies" under the Armed Career Criminal Act.  The circuits are divided on this issue, and so I do not think this is a surpising (or likely to be especially consequential) case for the Court.

UPDATE: SCOTUSblog has details about all the cert grants here and here, and it appears that a second case, US v. Rodriquez, is also about ACCA predicate offenses.  It does not appear that any other sentencing issues are among today's select seventeen.

MORE:  As detailed in this new post, the Court has also taken up the constitutionality of lethal injection protocols.

September 25, 2007 at 10:19 AM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Lots of SCOTUS cert grants, including at least one sentencing case:


The most interesting cert grant is a direct appeal of Kentucky's lethal injection procedure.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 25, 2007 10:33:30 AM

The update missed Anon's comment. The most significant cert. grant on sentencing issues is Baze v. Rees. It granted cert. from this decision: Baze v. Rees, 217 S.W.3d 207 (KY 2006), which held that Kentucky's method of lethal injection did not violate the ban on cruel and unusual punishment. It appears that this is the only issue in the case.

Posted by: jk | Sep 25, 2007 10:57:39 AM

The Baze case is lethal injection, briefs will be up at capitaldefenseweekly.com in a few moments.

Posted by: karl | Sep 25, 2007 11:03:23 AM

Important as the DP case is, the ACCA cases affect many more defendants.

Posted by: defense attorney | Sep 25, 2007 11:21:53 AM

is there any place that lists the petitions that have been denied?

Posted by: | Sep 25, 2007 11:52:55 AM

While I haven't looked at the exact issue presented, another cert grant today may have implications for federal sentencing law:
Ali v . Achim, 06-1346.

According to SCOTUSBlog, the issue presenteded concerns the definition of "aggravated felony" for deportation purposes. This definition of often has significant implications for sentencing enhancements under U.S.S.G. ยง 2L1.2.

Posted by: DEJ | Sep 25, 2007 12:05:15 PM

DEJ: The more important issue (problem) with 2L1.2 is the convoluted law around defining "Crime of Violence" which is a 16 lvl enhancement, not the 8 lvl agg felony. The Fifth & Ninth Cir. are split on this issue particularly. Agg. felony also is clearly defined in the code, "crime of violence" isn't (and in fact, has competing definitions). Too bad the SC didn't choose a Crime of Violence case instead as there are plenty of 2L1.2 defendants who are glad to only get 8 lvls and duck the CoV issue.

Posted by: dweedle | Sep 25, 2007 12:33:25 PM


If history is any guide, if the case was scheduled for yesterday's conference and it wasn't granted cert it will almost (but not definitely) be addressed on Monday, almost always with a denial.

Posted by: anon | Sep 25, 2007 1:19:13 PM

The order listing the cert. grants has the cert. denieds at the very end. There are only two this time.

Posted by: defense attorney | Sep 25, 2007 3:24:56 PM


The big list of cert. denieds will come out on Monday, and it will be lengthy.

Posted by: anon | Sep 25, 2007 4:12:06 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB