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SCOTUS Relists and Denials


We previously noted here the cases on SCOTUSblog's "petitions to watch" list for the "long conference" of September 24. The certiorari grants were announced the next day and described here. The session opened today, and the second shoe dropped from the long conference, as it traditionally does. The Court announced a long list of cert. denials. The interesting thing is the cases from the conference list that were not previously granted and are not on the denial list. These cases are still alive and will likely be relisted for reconsideration at another conference.

Amy Howe notes here at SCOTUSblog that Chester v. Texas, No. 06-1616 has already been relisted for this Friday's conference. This case involves the definition of mentally retarded for the purpose of the Atkins v. Virginia rule. Will Atkins be a new can of worms, such that once a federal rule is announced the federal courts must micromanage it? Look for an order Monday on whether to take this case.

Two Confrontation Clause cases, Missouri v. March, No. 06-1699, and New Mexico v. Romero, No. 07-37, are missing from the list. The docket in March indicates that a motion to dismiss under Rule 46 (agreed to by both parties) is pending. Romero will presumably be relisted sometime fairly soon.

Randolph v. Raygoza, No. 07-102, on deference to state-court factual findings in federal habeas, is missing from the list and will likely be relisted.

Denied petitions include three ineffective assistance cases, Arave v. Lankford, Harvey v. Florida and Ozmint v. Ard, two Batson cases, Missouri v. McFadden and Bell v. California, two search and seizure cases, Golphin v. Florida and City of Bridgeport v. Russo, and two sentencing cases, Utah v. Von Ferguson and Sasouvong v. Washington. The question in Sasouvong was whether juvenile priors can still be used to enhance after Apprendi and its progeny.


It seems hard to believe that the Supreme Court would impose federal micro-managing of mental retardation litigation, given this case: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/05pdf/04-1475.pdf

Of course, anything is possible with Justice Kennedy and the Gang of Four.

Arave v. Lankford was denied without comment.

[Thanks. Correction made. -- KS]

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