SCOTUS Monday

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued an orders list from last week’s conference. No new cases were taken up. There are no criminal cases on this week’s oral argument docket.

The Court currently seems to be less interested in criminal law issues than in past years. To some extent, no news is good news. Federal constitutional limitations on state criminal law run only in the defendant’s favor. In addition, changes in the law in the defendant’s favor often have retroactive effect, while changes in the prosecution’s favor rarely do. So lack of change is, at least in part, good for law enforcement.

On the other hand, there are a lot of rules with no real basis in the Constitution that one might think that an originalist-dominated Supreme Court would want to get rid of. One possible explanation is that the Court has a sort of budget for turmoil and has spent it all in other fields for the time being. That could change as the storms from last term’s decisions subside.

CJLF will be making some suggestions along that line in the near future. Stay tuned.

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