Watch Out for Mandatory Minimums

The Wall St. Journal Friday (free link) has an editorial on federal sentencing, warning of the return of mandatory minimums:

Judges have never liked the guidelines, which from their perspective amount to 1,800 pages of Congressional micromanagement. But somehow we think they're going to like what's coming even less. Congress is not about to sit still and accept what it sees as a power grab by the judiciary.

Hearings on the guidelines are already being discussed, and legislation could follow apace. One quick fix would be for Congress to expand the number of mandatory minimum sentences, a solution that would have the ironic effect of giving judges less flexibility in sentencing than they had before Wednesday's ruling.

We warned of this back in September:

If the Supreme Court's Blakely decision renders the Guidelines unconstitutional, what comes next might be worse. Congress may enact mandatory minimum penalties for many more offenses.

. Ronald H. Weich, a former counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee who opposes mandatory minimums, said [mandatory minimums] had a political constituency. "There is a real danger," Mr. Weich said, "that we're heading back to mandatory minimums if guidelines are unconstitutional." The Justice Department supports mandatory minimums, said Monica Goodling, a spokeswoman.

< Tsunami Celebrity Aid Benefit Tonight on NBC | Iran May Be Next on Bush's Agenda >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Re: Watch Out for Mandatory Minimums (none / 0) (#1)
    by wishful on Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 08:33:39 AM EST
    Those silly judges. They want to actually judge, or something. Well, our elected legislators will see to it that this frivolity is put to its end. Thank G*d for the foresight of our forefathers giving all the power to the legislative and executive branches until we can load the judicial branch with wingers. THEN they can get back to judging.

    Re: Watch Out for Mandatory Minimums (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 10:25:22 PM EST
    "a power grab by the judiciary"!!!??? This would be laughable if it were not true. Somehow I never realized that the sentencing of criminals was wholly a Congressional prerogative and not within the domain of judges. Some day soon, I suspect that Congress will attempt to do away with all federal district and appellate courts and try to implement some sort of administrative court system wholly under its control, in lieu of the federal courts. To hell with Article 3! Federal judges as congressional puppets! Rubber stamps in all but name.

    Re: Watch Out for Mandatory Minimums (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Jan 17, 2005 at 01:54:09 PM EST
    Brought to you by 'Prisons-R-Us'...got to fill those corporate prisons.

    Re: Watch Out for Mandatory Minimums (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 18, 2005 at 09:53:25 AM EST
    how can i help to get my brother out.