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October Supreme Court Arguments

SCOTUSblog has the U.S. Supreme Court calendar for the October session, although it is not on the Court's own site as of this writing. The criminal and related cases are as follows:

Monday, October 4: Abbott v. US & Gould v. US -- federal gun enhancements.

Tuesday, October 5: Michigan v. Bryant -- Confrontation Clause, Crawford, and questioning of wounded victim at the scene.

Los Angeles Co. v. Humphries -- civil liability of county for erroneous placement on child abuser list

Tuesday, October 12 (the big day for CJLF):

Harrington v. Richter:  This is a noncapital habeas murder case involving an ineffective assistance of counsel claim. The Court added the question of whether the "deference" standard of AEDPA, 28 USC ยง2554(d), applies when the state court decision is a summary disposition. CJLF's brief is here.

Premo v. Moore:  This is also a noncapital habeas murder case involving an ineffective assistance claim. The claim is that the attorney advised the defendant to take a plea rather than move to suppress his confession. The motion was of dubious merit, the prosecution had sufficient other evidence to convict Moore without it, and rejection of the deal would have exposed Moore to a possible conviction of a higher degree of murder and a more severe sentence.  The questions presented involve the standards for judging ineffective assistance claims in the guilty-plea context. CJLF's brief is here.

Connick v. Thompson: No singing; it's Harry, Sr. The case involves civil liability of DA offices for Brady nondisclosure violations.

Wednesday, October 13: Skinner v. Switzer: Postconviction DNA testing.

Privacy cases are also worth keeping an eye on, as the precedents set may work their way into suppression motions in criminal cases.  On Tuesday, October 5, the Court will hear NASA v. Nelson. The case involves property rights in the contents of Aladdin's lamps found during space missions privacy rights of government contractor employees during background investigations. Eugene Volokh has this post on the case and its implications.

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