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The U.S. Supreme Court held a conference today. As expected, no grants or denials of certiorari were announced. The Court did issue an orders list of routine orders regarding briefing and argument. Announcement of the cases granted and denied today will be made in Tuesday's orders list. The Court is closed Monday for Washington's Birthday (no, not "Presidents' Day," see 5 U.S.C. ยง 6103).

Among the petitions considered at today's conference was Norris v. Simpson, No. 07-653, in which the Eighth Circuit held that a condemned murderer could raise his claim that he is retarded for the first time in a post-Atkins habeas petition, despite the facts that (1) the state had precluded execution of retarded murderers the whole time, and (2) he never claimed to be retarded during any of the state proceedings.

Wednesday is a likely day for decision announcements. Medellin v. Texas, discussed here, was argued October 10 and is ripe for decision.

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Hmmmmmmm. The court says that the determination will be made under Atkins, but doesn't Atkins require that the definition of mental retardation is the particular state's definition? Thus, it would seem to me that the claim is not really as distinct as the court makes it out to be.

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