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June 4, 2012

Another week of SCOTUS waiting for sentencing fans

I had thought there was a reasonable possibility that the Supreme Court sometime this week might hand down one of the big sentencing cases still pending: Southern Union (Apprendi's application to fines); Jackson and Miller (mandatory LWOP for young juve murderers); Dorsey and Hill (the FSA's application to pipeline cases).  But, as detailed via this post at How Appealing, the Justices did not issue opinions in any of these cases this morning.  They Justices did grant cert and hand down one opinion on police practice issues, and Lyle Denniston reports here at SCOTUSblog that probably the most notable criminal justice decision was a cert denied in two high-profile federal convictions flowing from campaign donations in Alabama. 

According to the folks at SCOTUSblog, it appear that the Court will not hand down opinions again until next Monday.  So, it's another week of waiting for these sentencing rulings.  Fortunately, absent some dramatic or unexpected development (such as a order for reagument), I think we can reasonably expect to see opinions in all of these cases within the next three weeks.

Anyone yet eager to make predictions on the timing, outcomes, vote counts or opinion writers in these big sentencing cases.  At this moments I am inclined to guess we will get Southern Union next week, the juve LWOP cases the week of June 18, and the FSA pipeline cases the week of June 25.  In addition, I think the defendants are likely to previal in these cases by votes of 7-2, 5-4, and 6-3, with Justices Thomas, Kennedy and Sotomayor as principal opinion writers. 

But who really knows with this Court these days!?!?

June 4, 2012 at 11:27 AM | Permalink


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Southern Union: Defendant wins 5-4. Thomas with the opinion. Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Alito dissenting.
Jackson/Miller: Defendant wins 6-3/5-4. Sotomayor with the opinions (although if Sotomayor has Williams then Kennedy likely is writing here). Scalia, Thomas,and Alito dissenting, possibly also Roberts in one or both cases.
Dorsey/Hill : Government wins 5-4. Thomas with the opinion. Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan dissenting.
I'll defer to your experience as to the timing.

Posted by: Jacob Berlove | Jun 4, 2012 1:36:27 PM

FWIW, I now think that Sotomayor has Southern Union, and Kennedy has Jackson and Miller. No change in the lineup or outcomes though.

Posted by: Jacob Berlove | Jun 12, 2012 9:44:48 PM

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