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May 3, 2010

SCOTUS keeps us waiting for Graham and Sullivan, though provides some news while we wait

Today was the last scheduled day for the Supreme Court to release opinions until the second half of May, and neither of the two opinions released this morning are blockbusters.  It has now been nearly six months since the oral argument in the two juve LWOP cases from Florida, Graham and Sullivan, and it now appears that May 17th is the earliest these decisions could arrive.

Meanwhile, the court did reverse another habeas grant from the Sixth Circuit today in Renico v. Lett, No. No. 09–338 (May 3, 2010) (available here).  Here is how the opinion for the Court (authored by the Chief Justice) gets started:

This case requires us to review the grant of a writ of habeas corpus to a state prisoner under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), 28 U.S.C. §2254(d). The District Court in this case issued the writ to respondent Reginald Lett on the ground that his Michigan murder conviction violated the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Constitution, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed.  In doing so, however, these courts misapplied AEDPA’s deferential standard of review.  Because we conclude that the Michigan Supreme Court’s application of federal law was not unreasonable, we reverse.

In addition, SCOTUSblog reports that the Justices have "invited the views of the SG in 09-920, Simmons v. Galvin, a case involving the felon disenfranchisement law in Mass."  It will be interested to see what the Solicitor General's office has to say in response to this invitation because the case raises a host of interesting legal and social issues at the intersection of crime, race and politics.

May 3, 2010 at 10:25 AM | Permalink


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Stevens' opinion in Renico is interesting on a federal habeas case. A lot of rank speculation. Amazing that the failure to object (which contributed to the sparse record, we must presume) isn't a problem for the dissent. (I get that there is some messiness on that point, but still.)

Posted by: federalist | May 3, 2010 10:30:09 AM

is there anybody on the blog who is an expert on double jeopardy and can explain to me how Perez came to be the leading authority on double jeopardy issues arising from retrials after mistrials, but the Perez opinion does not mention the fifth amendment or double jeopardy per se? I've read Perez several times and it is a very puzzling opinion to me.



Posted by: bruce cunningham | May 4, 2010 5:17:41 AM

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