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SCOTUS Orders 11/28/11

The Supreme Court today took up a case of the application of the Apprendi rule (jury trial of facts that increase maximum sentence) to fines in the case of Southern Union Co. v. United States, No. 11-94.  First Circuit opinion is here.

The Court also took up a case on harmless error analysis, Vasquez v. United States, No. 11-199.  Seventh Circuit opinion is here.

The Court took up and consolidated two cases, Dorsey v. United States, No. 11-5683 and Hill v. United States, No. 11-5721, relating to the reduction in crack cocaine sentencing.  Doug Berman has this post at SL&P.

These are all kind of nuts-and-bolts, fill-in-the-details type cases.  No blockbusters.  The three habeas cases we have been watching, Hardy v. Cross, Wetzel v. Lambert, and Cash v. Maxwell, have been relisted yet again for the December 2 conference.

The Court turned down the case of Faulkner v. United States, No. 11-235.  The police had stopped Faulkner without probable cause but then discovered an outstanding warrant.  The Eighth Circuit held the evidence obtained in the subsequent search of the car was admissible.  Wong Sun, purged taint, and all that.  In footnote 4, the Eighth noted the then-recent grant of certiorari in Tolentino v. New York, but the high court subsequently dropped that case.  (CJLF brief here.)

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