US Supreme Court grants cert. in 5 cases

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Via Scotusblog:

The Supreme Court granted certiorari in five cases today:

Salazar (Interior Secretary) v. Buono  : government's appeal testing Congress' power to allow a religious display to remain on public property simply by transferring ownership to a private group or individual.  The case also raises issues about who may sue to challenge such displays. 

 Alvarez v. Smith:  The legal standard for a court hearing to test the forfeiture of property used in a drug crime.

Padilla v. Kentucky : The duty of an attorney to advise a client facing mandatory deporation from the U.S. after pleading guilty to trafficking in marijuana.

Union Pacific Railroad v. Brotherhood of Locomotice Engineers: The scope of federal courts' authority to second-guess arbitration decisions made to resolve labor disputes in the railroad and airline industries.

Smith v. Spisak:  Judges' duty to advise jurors on whether unanimity is required in finding factors that bear upon imposing a death sentence.

Johnson v. U.S. : The status of a state conviction for felony battery as a violent crime under the federal Armed Career Criminal Act.  The Court granted questions 1 and 2 in the petition, both related to that issue. The Court declined to hear a third question, asking the Court to overrule its 1998 decision in Almendarez-Torres v. U.S. -- allowing a judge, rather than the jury, to rule on prior convictions as a basis for enhancing a criminal sentence.  The Court has refused several times to consider that issue, which involves the only exception to the jury role the Court mandated in Apprendi v. New Jersey (2000) and later cases.

Scotusblog provides links to the opinions below, petitions for certiorari, briefs in opposition, replies and briefs of amicus curiae.

Justice Ginsburg was present for the Court's announcement of the orders and today's oral arguments.

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This page contains a single entry by JoNell published on February 23, 2009 8:31 AM.

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