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Supreme Court Preview: Maryland v. Shatzer: On SCOTUSblog, Georgetown Law student Diana Gillis previews the U.S. Supreme Court case Maryland v. Shatzer (08-680).  The Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case on Monday, October 5th.  As reported earlier, Shatzer takes up the issue of whether Edwards v. Arizona requires police to cease interrogation indefinitely, once a suspect asserts his right to counsel.  In Shatzer's case, the Maryland Court of Appeals held that Edwards did, and found inadmissible the incriminating statements Shatzer made almost three years after he first asserted his right to counsel.  In her case preview, Gillis nicely sums up the facts of the case and gives brief synopsis of Maryland and Shatzer's briefs.  The Maryland brief argues that Edwards' protection should lift when there has been a break in custody or a substantial lapse of time.  These arguments are similar to those that John Roberts made before the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. GreenGreen was dismissed without decision.  In response, Shatzer argues that a break in custody limit would undermine Edwards' goal of protecting suspects from coercion.  He also argues that any "lapse in time" rule is arbitrary.  He especially doesn't like the position taken in our brief that Edwards' presumption should expire after 30 days.

"Becoming belligerent with a police officer is almost never a good idea."
  That's the advice that James Taranto gives as he recaps the Henry Louis Gates saga on Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web.  Taranto's advice is based on a personal experience with police officers.  One day in the mid-1990s Taranto was a house guest and  a neighbor mistook for a suspicious man roaming the area.  The officers arrived, Taranto kept his cool, and the officers left.  For those unfamiliar with Gates' story this AP story gives some quick details.  Apparently, Gates, director of Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, was locked out of his Cambridge, MA, house one afternoon. A woman called police and "reported seeing a man try to pry open the front door."  When an officer arrived, he asked for Gates identification.  The Boston Globe reports that Gates showed his driver's license and Harvard identification card.  The problem began when Gates accused the officer of being a racist.  He was booked for "exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior," although charges were later dropped.

Virginia to Address Melendez-Diaz At Blog of Legal Times, Tony Mauro reports that Virginia's Governor, Tim Kaine, has called a special session of the state General Assembly on Aug. 19 to respond to Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts.  The Supreme Court's decision requires lab technicians to appear at trial if the prosecution introduces at trial written reports or certificates prepared by the technician.  Virginia has a special interest in this decision since the Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in Briscoe v. Virginia, a case that will examine Virginia's rule regarding this type of evidence.  We've blogged about Briscoe before, and as Mauro correctly states, "Virginia may be able to make relatively minor adjustments to its laws to accommodate Melendez-Diaz."  We hope Virginia doesn't make these adjustments too quickly.  Briscoe is a good case to place some limits on Melendez-Diaz's potential impact.

Supreme Court Justice News:  Also on Blog of Legal Times, Tony Mauro posts on "The Bush Judicial Legacy, By the Numbers."  The post links to the latest issue of Judicature which states "[Bush's] judicial legacy may well be Bush's most enduring accomplishment[.]"  On The Ninth Justice, Amy Harder reports that Senator Graham will endorse Judge Sotomayor, and Senator Kyl will not.  According to Jan Crawford Greenburg at Legalities, Senator Kyl will not endorse Judge Sotomayor because her testimony was "evasive, lacking in substance and, in several instances, incredibly misleading[.]"

The Power of an Amicus:  On Volokh Conspiracy, Eugene Volokh has been offering up a series of posts on amicus curiae briefs.  Today's offering tells us that less is more in amicus briefs.  Previous posts include "Amicus Briefs -- Why File Them?" and "Amicus Briefs Supporting Petitions for Discretionary Review."  All of the posts include excerpts from Mayer Brown LLP's treatise on Federal Appellate Practice.      

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