« Is criminal justice reform really likely to be "a winning issue in 2018"? | Main | "Racial Equity in Algorithmic Criminal Justice" »

April 2, 2018

SCOTUS grants cert on yet another ACCA case(!) while Justice Sotomayor is in fine dissenting form on other criminal justice matters

Before taking another two week break from oral arguments, the US Supreme Court this morning issued this order list which included a cert grant on yet another case interpreting the application of the Armed Career Criminal Act. As it does so well, SCOTUSblog already has this case page for the new ACCA case providing this basic accounting:

Stokeling v. United States

Docket No. 17-5554 (opinion below from 11th Circuit)

Issue: Whether a state robbery offense that includes “as an element” the common law requirement of overcoming “victim resistance” is categorically a “violent felony” under the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B)(i), when the offense has been specifically interpreted by state appellate courts to require only slight force to overcome resistance.

Today's order list is also noteworthy for two lengthy dissents authored by Justice Sotomayor that together take up more than half of the entire order list.  The long one, which has Justice Ginsburg also on board, complains about the Court summarily reversing a Ninth Circuit ruling concerning a police officer's liability for shooting a suspect.  The shorter dissent has her complaining solo about the Court's denial of cert in a Florida capital case.  The closing substantive paragraph and footnote of this dissent struck me as blogworthy:

Therefore, the Florida Supreme Court has (again)[FN4] failed to address an important and substantial Eighth Amendment challenge to capital defendants’ sentences post-Hurst. Nothing in its pre-Hurst precedent, nor in its opinions in Truehill and Oliver, addresses or resolves these substantial Caldwell-based challenges.  This Court can and should intervene in the face of this troubling situation.

[FN4] “Toutes choses sont dites déjà; mais comme personne n’écoute, il faut toujours recommencer.” Gide, Le Traité du Narcisse 8 (1892), in Le Traité du Narcisse 104 (R. Robidoux ed. 1978) (“Everything has been said already; but as no one listens, we must always begin again”).

April 2, 2018 at 10:12 AM | Permalink


“Everything has been said already; but as no one listens, we must always begin again”

New term begins for the good professor?

Posted by: Joe | Apr 2, 2018 10:19:10 AM

I was thinking this is (too good) a mantra for many parents as well as for certain commentors on this blog.... :-)

Posted by: Doug B | Apr 2, 2018 10:23:15 AM

I know from my own circuit (Eighth Circuit) that we just had two cases decided last week raising the same issue as Stokeling under my state's old robbery 2nd statute. (As part of our re-write of the criminal code, my state made some minor changes so that robbery requires just a little bit more force than it previously did.)

Posted by: tmm | Apr 2, 2018 10:48:48 AM

Obscure reference of the day making me hope some blog out there clarifies such things:



The motion for leave to file a petition for a writ of certiorari under seal with redacted copies for the public record is granted.

[I found something related to a Chinese labor dispute of some sort that might be at issue here. One thing that really shouldn't be too hard when it comes to these orders would be a link to lower court opinions or something. The fantasy blog I have in mind would do that at least some of those opinions denied cert or at least for the "orders in pending cases." There is a docket page for cases too that sometimes might be linked here too. The website still needs work. Plus, it took a passing comment from a SCOTUS reporter on Twitter to learn about the number you can call to be told if there might be an opinion handed down.]

Posted by: Joe | Apr 2, 2018 11:43:50 AM

At the VC Baude has a post that praises Sotomayor's dissenting opinion in the QI case.

Willie Baude is praising Sotomayor. Let that sink in for a moment.

Maybe pigs do fly.

Posted by: Dumbo | Apr 2, 2018 5:50:40 PM

Doug, do you really find Sotomaypr's opinion good? I don't hate the result she comes to, but the opinion is silly.

Posted by: federalist | Apr 2, 2018 11:36:59 PM

Which opinion, federalist, and what is it that you find silly?

Posted by: Doug B. | Apr 3, 2018 12:46:24 AM

Her dissent in the QI case. Her haranguing over the use of resources etc.

Posted by: federalist | Apr 3, 2018 12:43:21 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB