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Blog Scan

When Will We Have a New Justice? What Are Interest Groups Looking For? and Does It Matter?:  In light of President Obama's nomination of Judge Sotomayor, a time line of the confirmation process for the four most recently appointed Supreme Court Justices at SCOTUSblog.  The time line is meant to give SCOTUS watchers an idea of when the Senate might hold nomination hearings and vote on Sotomayor's appointment.  Looks as though we could have a new Justice in as little as two months.  In addition, David Ingram has posted a "Roundup of Reaction to Sotomayor's Nomination" at Blog of Legal Times.  Ingram's post includes statements from the Executive Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce, the President of American Tort Reform Association, the President of the Interfaith Alliance, and the Executive Directors of the National Senior Law Center and Americas United, to name a few.  Finally, at the Ninth, Justice Dan Friedman from CongressDaily, reports that the "Senate GOP Rrobably Can't Stop Sotomayor."  Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight, breaks down how current Senators voted when they confirmed Judge Sotomayor as a Judge for the Second Circuit.  The tally?  35 to 11.  

Summarizing Montejo:  At SCOTUSblog, Lyle Denniston provides a summary of the Supreme Court's decision to overrule Michigan v. Jackson in Montejo v. Louisiana.  As Kent Scheidegger reported earlier today, Justice Scalia authored the majority opinion. The opinion reasoned that Jackson did not set a strong precedent because "when this Court creates a prophylactic rule to protect a constitutional right, the relevant 'reasoning' is the weighing of the rule's benefits against its costs. Jackson's marginal benefits are dwarfed by its substantial costs."

Sentencing History of Current Nominee:  Doug Berman writes at Sentencing Law and Policy that he probably won't blog much about Judge Sotomayor until the sentencing hearings, but he "cannot resist some very early, very brief sentencing reflections on Judge Sonia Sotomayor."  Berman writes that because Judge Sotomayor has "a record as a federal sentencing judge" she is set "apart from every Justice to serve on the Court in my lifetime." He also writes that she "does not have much personal experience with death penalty issues because very few capital cases ever come before the Second Circuit."  With the death penalty consuming a good portion of the Supreme Court docket, it will be interesting to watch her view on the punishment emerge. 
President Obama and Justice Holmes:  At Bench Memos, Roger Clegg comments on President Obama's reference to Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes as he introduced Judge Sotomayor as his Supreme Court pick.  In his remarks, the President quoted Justice Holmes as stating, "The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience[,]" to explain why the President had chosen Judge Sotomayor.  Clegg's post explains that when Justice Holmes made this comment he was lecturing on the "Common Law," and not constitutional or statutory law. According to Clegg, "he was writing mostly about cases in which judges really had no publicly enacted laws to apply," so they had to rely on life experience and not statutes or codes to make their decisions. This is different from deciding a constitutional issue based on personal life experience.  But Judge Sotomayor's personal experience may not be an issue.  Corey Rayburn Yung posts on Sex Crimes, that based on data compiled from Judge Sotomayor's 2008 opinions, "Judge Sotomayor is less activist than the average judge."

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