Saturday, February 19, 2011
Issue summaries from ScotusBlog, which also links to papers and opinions below:
Tuesday, Feb. 22
- US v. Tinklenberg: The Speedy Trial Act guarantees that federal criminal defendants will be tried within a certain amount of time after they are charged. The statute also provides that certain delays do not count toward the deadline. When, if ever, is the time between the filing of a pretrial motion and the court’s ruling on it excluded?
- Bond v. US: Whether a defendant may challenge the constitutionality of a federal criminal statute on Tenth Amendment grounds, arguing that Congress exceeded its constitutional powers in attempting to regulate something the Constitution leaves to the states.
Wednesday, Feb. 23
- Freeman v. US: Generally, a criminal defendant may ask to have his sentence lowered if, after his sentencing, the federal sentencing commission lowers the sentencing guideline range for his crime. The question in this case is whether a defendant may take advantage of that right if he was convicted based on a plea agreement that specified a particular sentence or sentencing range (as opposed to a plea agreement in which sentencing is left to the judge, in accordance with the sentencing guidelines).