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September 19, 2020

In (sentencing) memoriam: noting a few major sentencing majority opinions by Justice Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was nominated to be a Justice when I was still in law school, so it has been a very long time since I have thought about a Supreme Court without her voice and views being integral to the Court's work.  And, as I noted in this post last night, she was literally the critical swing vote in US v. Booker to give us the advisory guideline system that has defined the federal sentencing for over fifteen years.

Though Justice Ginsburg did not write an opinion in Booker, she wrote plenty of notable and consequential sentencing opinions for the full Court during her lengthy tenure.  Via this post, I figured I would take a few moments to note and link some sentencing highlights in the remarkable corpus of opinions authored by Justice Ginsburg during her many years on the Court:

Ring v. Arizona, 536 U.S. 584 (2002)

Cunningham v. California, 549 U.S. 270 (2007)

Kimbrough v. United States, 552 U.S. 85 (2007)

Oregon v. Ice, 555 U.S. 160 (2009)

Timbs v. Indiana, 586 U.S. ___ (2019)

By keeping this list focused opinions for the Court, I have left off many of Justice Ginsburg's notable separate opinions and on lots of other criminal law matters.  I suspect readers may recall fondly (or perhaps not so fondly) of other opinions of Justice Ginsburg not listed above, and I welcome thoughts in the comments about Justice Ginsburg's role in shaping modern criminal justice jurisprudence.

September 19, 2020 at 04:37 PM | Permalink


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