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June 21, 2012

In 6-3 opinion, SCOTUS finds that Apprendi rule applies to criminal fines

As I hoped and expected, today we finally got one of the big final sentencing cases from the Supreme Court.  Specifically, as per the early SCOTUSblog report, we have this Apprendi sighting:

Justice Sotomayor has opinion. The rule of Apprendi v. NJ applies to the imposition of criminal fines. The First Circuit is reversed. The vote is 6-3. Justice Breyer dissents, joined by Kennedy and Alito.

The full opinion is now available at this link and I am certain I wil have much to say about the ruling and its import in the hours to come.

UPDATE:  A very quick scan of the opinions (in which the dissent by Justice Breyer is nearly twice as long as the opinion for the Court) suggests that three of the four newer Justices are now happy citizens in Apprendi-land with Justice Alito the only newby on the outside complaining about this magical land's continued growth.

June 21, 2012 at 10:05 AM | Permalink


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I think Scalia has won the Apprendi battle.

Posted by: federalist | Jun 21, 2012 10:32:21 AM

Of course Justice Alito is complaining. His results-oriented views in criminal law cases is shameful.

Posted by: anon | Jun 21, 2012 4:10:37 PM

Federalist, yes, you indeed are correct! And, it is about damned time!

Posted by: John Marshall | Jun 23, 2012 4:09:04 AM

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