Supreme Court Review of Military Convictions: Wall Street Journal's Law Blog has a post from Dan Slater concerning legislation that could allow for Supreme Court review of certain petitions by military service members convicted of crimes. The current law, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, allows appeal of a military conviction to the Supreme Court in limited conditions, "such as when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces has conducted a mandatory review" or "granted discretionary review of a petition." But if the court of appeals denies review, the Supreme Court will only hear the case on collateral review (e.g. a writ of habeas corpus). Slater reports the "Equal Justice for Our Military Act" would change that. If passed, the Act will allow service members to file a petition with the Supreme Court when the court of appeal denies review or a writ of extraordinary relief. The House of Representatives approved the Act by voice vote over the weekend.
Ohio's Supreme Court: In a Volokh Conspiracy post referencing a white paper he co-authored with his wife, Jonathan Adler talks about Ohio's "More Modest" Supreme Court and its recent move toward exercising judicial restraint. The white paper, A More Modest Court: The Ohio Supreme Court's New Found Judicial Restraint, was written by Adler and his wife, Christina, for the Federalist Society. According to Adler, the paper discusses the recent deference the court has given to the legislature, especially in the areas of education and tort reform. Hopefully this trend will be followed by other courts and they will be "less likely to impose... policy preferences on the state."
Alito Leaves the Cert Pool: Law.com has a post from Legal Times writer Tony Mauro about Alito's recent decision to step outside the Supreme Court's cert pool. The "cert pool" refers to the Supreme Court's 30 year practice of allowing justices' law clerks to divide up incoming petitions, with one law clerk summarizing each petition for the benefit of all the justices in the pool. Until recently, Justice Stevens was the only Justice to remain outside the pool, having his own law clerks examine each petition independently. On Friday, Adam Liptak reported for the New York Times that Justice Alito had made the move as well. According to Jay Jorgensen, one of Justice Alito's former Third Circuit clerks, Justice Alito decided to leave the cert pool so he could be more "helpful to the other justices in identifying, among the thousands of petitions that come in, those that are worthy of the Court's attention."