The U.S. Supreme Court issued an orders list following its conference today. As expected, they took the capital child rape case, Kennedy v. Louisiana. They also took two federal sentencing procedure cases, Irizarry v. United States, 06-7517, and Greenlaw v. United States, 07-330.
As we have noted before, we at CJLF consider the death penalty for any nonfatal crime to be a bad idea, even if it is constitutional. There needs to be a meaningful differential in punishment between rape and rape-murder to give the rapist an incentive not to kill the victim. That is also why the death penalty is very necessary for rape-murder.
In procedural matters, the Court turned down the ABA's untimely motion to participate in oral argument as amicus in Virginia v. Moore. Yes, ABA, even you have to follow the rules. The SG gets in to Monday's argument in Baze v. Rees and in the Indiana voter ID cases, as usual.
According to the hearing list, Kentucky will be represented at oral argument by Roy Englert of Robbins, Russell, rather than by any of the state attorneys on the brief.
Expect an orders list Monday with a large number of cert. denials, no grants, and routine procedural stuff.