April 28, 2007
Impact of Loving v. Virginia. There's an interesting piece here about the impact of the supreme court's only 40 year old decision striking down a statute prohibiting interracial marriage.
Supremes to Review Money-Laundering Statute. The plate for next term's already filling up, with this case as one example.
April 27, 2007
Recent Cases of Note
Zuni Pub. School Dist. No. 89 v. Dept. of Ed., 2007 WL 119350 (Apr. 17, 2007) (dissent relied upon Holy Trinity, of all things, and charges by Scalia that he could "readily imagine" members of the court voting one way or the other becuase of the justice's own policy preferences).
Environmental Def. Fund v. Duke Energy Corp., 127 S.Ct. 1423 (Apr. 2, 2007) (interpreting Clean Air Act regulations).
James v. U.S. 2007 WL 1135524 (Apr. 18, 2007) (Construing Armed Career Criminal Act).
Gonzales v. Carhart, 2007 WL 1135596 (Apr. 18, 2007) (the partial birth abortion case).
Kirkendall v. Dept. of the Army, 479 F.3d 830 (Fed. CIr. 2007) (court split on whether Congress intended equitable tolling to apply to statute of limitations in Veterans Employment Opportunites and Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act).
Commonwealth v. Dickson, 918 A.2d 95 (Pa. 2007) (discussing legislative acquiesence in prior judicial interpretation of a statute).
April 23, 2007
Mississippi Sex Offender Statute Upheld
In Garrison v. State, 950 So.2d 990 (Miss. 2006), (not released until mid-March 2007, for some odd reason) the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld that state's Sex Offender statute over several constitutional and interpretive challenges, including an argument that the registration and living requirements were ex post facto laws. Particularly interesting to me is the analysis these courts undertake in detrmining whether a "civil" statute is nonetheless punitive and so subject to ex post facto limitations in the first place. One judge dissented on the ground that the statute was unconstitutional.
April 22, 2007
The Ambiguity of "In"
In Young v. Commonwealth, 2007 WL 116154 (Va. 2007), a statute provided that if a criminal sentence was set aside "solely due to an error in the sentencing proceeding..." a different jury decided punishment, but guilt was not re-adjudicated. The majority concluded that a complete new trial was ordered because it held "in" was unambiguous and referred to an occurence during the sentencing phase, rather than something that affected the validity of the sentence, whether it occurred in the guilt phase or the sentencing phase. The dissent strongly disagreed and argued the phrase was ambiguous. And he did so quite passionately, I'll note.