<< More on NC Racial Quota Act | Main | Sotomayor and the Permanent Constitution >>

Blog Scan

A Liberal Backlash:  Jan Crawford Greenburg writes on Legalities that liberals are lashing out against Judge Sotomayor over some remarks made during her hearings.  According to Greenburg, not only is the Center for Reproductive Rights upset with Judge Sotomayor's performance, but the Constitutional Accountability Center's founder and President, Doug Kendall, has come out and said "empathy, perspective and understanding pretty much went out the window" during her testimony.  Georgetown Law Professor, and former Thurgood Marshall clerk, Mike Seidman declared himself "completely disgusted" by her testimony.  (Sidenote: Seidman did not sign last week's letter endorsing Judge Sotomayor).  As Greenburg notes however, Judge Sotomayor's performance has been surprising.  Yesterday, she "dance[d] around issues, decline[d] to defend liberal philosophy and [went] on to specifically reject the so-called legal approach of the man who nominated her, Barack Obama."  At one point, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) commented she was sounding a lot like Chief Justice Roberts -- and asked, "Who are we getting here?"  Nathan Koppel reports on Wall Street Journal's Law Blog that after this morning's questioning, Republicans are also frustrated by Judge Sotomayor's responses.  According to Koppel, during a break Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) complained she was less forthcoming that Justices Alito or Roberts.

Should Parents Get Discounted Sentences?:  That's the question posed by guest bloggers Jennifer Collins, Ethan J. Leib, and Dan Markel on Freakonomics Blog today.  Their answer? "[S]entencing discounts for offenders with family ties require scrutiny and, in some cases, re-tailoring, and in other cases, rejection."  According to Collins, Leib and Markel, the problem with sentencing discounts for parents is that it grants an unexpected windfall "to an offender for a reason unrelated to his crime[,]" and could give incentives to defendants with family ties "to seek out greater criminal opportunities..."  The authors realize that children do pay a cost for when their sole caregiver is incarcerated.  They argue, however, that "harms to innocent third parties should be ameliorated through the institutions of distributive justice, not criminal justice." In other words, children with incarcerated parents should receive state aid.  In the alternative, Collins, Leib and Markel propose that legislatures authorize "time-delayed sentencing to offenders with irreplaceable caregiving responsibilities." [Hat tip Doug Berman at Sentencing Law & Policy]

Upcoming National Sentencing Conference:
  Doug Berman's post over on Sentencing Law and Policy informs that the National Association of Sentencing Commissions' annual conference will be held in Baltimore, MD from August 2-4.  This year's conference is titled "15 Years of NASC: Looking Back, Moving Forward," and Berman believes it is "very timely and forward looking."  For those considering attending the conference we'll offer one more incentive - Kent will be part of Tuesday's panel addressing The Consequences of Escalating Incarceration Rates.

Leave a comment

Monthly Archives