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October 7, 2013

SCOTUS gets back in action ... with a light sentencing docket (for now)

The calendar reports that it is the first monday in October, which means it is time for elite lawyers to throw out the first case to kick off the new Supreme Court season.  (Given that a number of the SCOTUS Justices are baseball fans and have had the privilege to throw out first pitches, I think it would be really cool for them to invite a famous ballplayer to come throw out the first case.  This SCOTUS Term, of course, it should be Mariano Rivera getting the privilege.)

SCOTUSblog is the place to go to keep up with the start of the new Term, and How Appealing has collected here some of the best SCOTUS preview article.  Among the previews, I found especially effective Chris Geidner's coverage here at BuzzFeed under the headline "11 Supreme Court Cases That Could Change The U.S. In The Coming Year."   That article not only spotlights the highest profile cases on the SCOTUS docket, but also notes a few potential sleepers already on the docket and issues on which cert seems likely to be granted in the coming months.

Disappointingly, as the title of this post notes, the new SCOTUS term is right now light on cases that should be of interest for sentencing fans.  Indeed, as of now, there are not any "classic" sentencing issues before the Justices, and I do not see many such sentencing issues in the cert pipeline for SCOTUS unless a group of Justices want to now take up some long-smoldering post-Booker issues or some more recent post-Graham/Miller matters.

That said, there are still more than a few cases that sentencing fans should be keeping an eye on because they deal with concerns ranging from causation standards for restitution awards (Paroline v. U.S.) and causation standards for triggering a 20-year mandatory minimum term (Burrage v. U.S.) to application of the Sixth Amendment ruling in Lafter v. Cooper (Burt v. Titlow) to various death penalty application matters (Kansas v. Cheever and White v. Woodall).

I am sure this too quick SCOTUS preview post has missed a few issues of interest already on the docket and in the pipeline.  Readers are urged to fill up the comments with any and all sentencing or broader criminal justice thoughts on the SCOTUS Term to come.

October 7, 2013 at 09:46 AM | Permalink


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Prof. Berman argues that judicial review, legal or illegal, cannot be reversed. I believe it violates Article I Section 1. The remedy could easily be impeachment and arrest for insurrection. I agree that Congress will never do that because it uses the Supreme Court to avoid politically difficult matters.

OK. Legislating By the Court is here to stay. Can it be improved? Yes. Congress can set the parameters and functioning of the court by mere legislation. The Court is filled by know nothing lawyer dumbasses, grads of left wing big government indoctrination camps, Harvard and Yale Law Schools. Real assholes, as a rule. No matter how conservative, they all advocate for lawyer rent seeking, no exceptions. Their decisions are often horrible.

1) Make the number of Justices an even number to end 5-4 decisions, which are usually the stupidest. Even decisions allow the lower court decision to stand. Lower court decisions are usually in accord with prior Supreme Court precedents.

2) Increase the number of Justices to a number fit for a legislature, allowing some effect of the wisdom of the crowd. Example, 500 Justices.

3) Mandate a minimum inclusion of non-lawyers. Pick anyone, jury pool members, wine besotted bums from the gutter, to dilute the idiocy of the lawyers. You will get a huge upgrade in the common sense of decisions, not to mention their readability.

4) Move the Supreme Court to Wichita Kansas or wherever the center of the United States is located. All members adapt to Washington culture, which has a homosexual/feminist agenda, hiding a big government, socialistic abomination. Washington DC is a black town, as well, with the culture and success of others like it, Detroit, New Orleans, Newark. Send the smartest, nicest person to Washington DC, for example Prof. Berman. See in 5 years. You have a narcissistic rat bastard.

5) Elect Congressmen willing to impeach and criticize Justices for their substantive legal decisions, not for collateral corruptions.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 9, 2013 7:08:28 AM

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