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June 14, 2010

Interesting Justices' voting line-up in Dolan restitution case

The Supreme Court has handed down its opinion this morning in the Dolan restitution case, and in doing so it has shown yet again that sentencing issues are so much more interesting than so many other SCOTUS matters because how the Justices will vote is so unpredictable.  Here is the early SCOTUSblog report on Dolan:

We have the first opinion, 09-367, Dolan v. United States.  Breyer writes for the Court, affirming the lower court. The vote is 5-4, with the Chief Justice dissenting joined by Stevens, Scalia, and Kennedy

The Court holds that a sentencing court that has missed the 90-day deadline may nevertheless order restitution, at least in some circumstances.

The Dolan opinion is available here, and I am excited to discover how Justice Breyer managed to get Justices Alito, Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Thomas all to agree on what he had to say.

June 14, 2010 at 10:12 AM | Permalink


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I think that this may be the first time ever that Thomas was the most senior Justice in the majority, and therefore responsible for assigning authorship of the majority opinion.

Posted by: NYC Esq. | Jun 14, 2010 10:34:23 AM

Fascinating point, NYC Esq. It may also explain why there is a little, but not a lot, of reference to legislative history to support the majority's view.

Posted by: Doug B. | Jun 14, 2010 10:54:28 AM

what a criminal nazi crock! so now the govt can ignore the deadlines and do what they want with little or no punishment. Of course that's no suprise ....only suprise is that it's taken this long to come out of hiding in the court sytem. it's been that way for the rest of the country for DECADES.

Posted by: rodsmith3510 | Jun 14, 2010 10:25:40 PM

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