Report: Gov't to Ask for Cert in Blakely Case(s)

Scotus Blog reports as follows:

Our sources who litigate these cases and have excellent contacts (you know who you are, and we thank you) tell us that there is an excellent prospect that the Solicitor General will likely take the post-Blakely questions under the Guidelines to the Supreme Court on Wednesday. One or both of two filings are contemplated: a cert. petition in the Seventh Circuit's Booker case (in which Judges Posner and Easterbrook divided); and a petition for cert. before judgment in United States v. Fanfan (a district court decision from the District of Maine that was just appealed by the government to the First Circuit). Both cases involve drug conspiracies.

The government will move to expedite both the cert. and merits stages of the cases, seeking: that any response to the petitions be filed within a week, that cert. be granted by August 2, and that merits briefing be completed by mid-September or early-October (under alternative schedules that are being discussed). Argument would be held immediately thereafter.

The Booker case was briefed and argued in the 7th Circuit by TalkLeft contributor TChris. We can't wait till he gets to the Supreme Court. On the other hand, if the Supremes take the case, it will entail an enormous amount of work, particularly in light of the expedited briefing schedule, and he may have less time to blog. Then again, if we had a choice between litigating a case in the Supreme Court and blogging, we know which one we'd choose, so we're behind TChris all the way. Even if it means blogging alone for a while.

The New York Times is expected to break the news Tuesday, although the cert petitions most likely won't be filed until Wednesday. We don't know for sure which of the two cases--or whether both will be taken up to the High Court, but we have a strong suspicion it will be both of them.

Update: As predicted, here is the New York Times article.

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