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June 18, 2015

Criminal law geek overload as SCOTUS clears most (but not most consequential) of its criminal docket

As the posts preceding this one reveals, the US Supreme Court this morning largely ruined my plans to spend much of the next 80 hours obssessing over one of my favorite summer sporting events.  They did so by handing down four "meaty" criminal law opinions, all of which appears to include an array of doctrinal and dicta nuances that likley will prove to be blogworthy in the days ahead.  I will collect here all the prior posts (which have links to the opinions) in order to help those keeping score to see that criminal defendants prevailed in two cases and lost in two cases:

From a way-too-quick assessment of these rulings, I sense that Clark is the biggest deal both as a matter of constitutional jurisprudence and as a matter of day-to-day criminal trial practice. But, because the Confrontation Clause has generally been deemed inapplicable in sentencing proceedings, hard-core sentencing fans might find a lot more of interest in the other rulings.

Also noteworthy, as the title of this post highlights, still outstanding from the Justices are the two cases I have been following most closely this term: Glossip concerning execution protocols and Johnson concerning the constitutionality and application of the federal Armed Career Criminal Act. I have long assumed and expect that we would not get a ruling in Glossip until the very end of the month, and I now am thinking there is a good chance we might get Johnson as early as next week.

June 18, 2015 at 11:07 AM | Permalink


I'm surprised we didn't get Johnson today too. It seems the writing is on the wall on that one. Maybe it has to do with concurring and dissenting opinions needing time to respond to everyone.

I agree Clark is the biggest case (certainly, it's the one I'll read first because I think it'll be relevant for the Confrontation Clause generally). I agree it's not a sentencing issue.

McFadden seems like it's going to make it extremely difficult to prove analogue substances going forward.

I'll read Ayala for a glimmer of hope because, just looking at the facts, it seems there was a pretty egregious Batson violation. It's a shame that AEDPA would foreclose even that.

Posted by: Erik M | Jun 18, 2015 1:05:10 PM

Jordan vs Fisher has been relisted 8 times. Definitely sparked some interest at SCOTUS.

Posted by: DaveP | Jun 18, 2015 3:02:16 PM

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