Today's Supreme Court Actions

Scotus Blog has this early post up:

The Supreme Court, on a day on which it issued six decisions, released none of the major controversies still to be decided -- the Ten Commandments displays cases, music and movie downloading and copyright, government seizures of private property for private re-development, and access to cable companies' broadband lines for high-speed Internet connections. Eleven cases overall remain to be decided....

The Court did issue a decision in a habeas case involving the one year filing deadline under AEDPA, and I'll update when it's available.

Also, the court reversed a death penalty sentence for ineffective assistance of counsel in Rompilla v. Beard, No. 04-5462:

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered a new trial for a Pennsylvania death row inmate in a 17-year-old murder case, ruling that his attorney was sloppy in failing to investigate possible evidence of mental retardation.

In his appeal, Rompilla argued that public defenders were wrong when they failed to review records showing mitigating evidence of mental retardation and a traumatic upbringing, even after prosecutors gave warning they planned to use the documents against him.

Writing for the majority, Justice David H. Souter agreed.

"We hold that even when a capital defendant's family members and the defendant himself have suggested that no mitigating evidence is available, his lawyer is bound to make reasonable efforts to obtain and review material that counsel knows the prosecution will probably rely on," Souter wrote.

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    Re: Today's Supreme Court Actions (none / 0) (#1)
    by Quaker in a Basement on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:16 PM EST
    Dang it. I'm waiting for the decision on Kelo v. New London. It should be a close decision. The case is asserts a Fifth Amendment takings clause claim. The city of New London, CT used its power of eminent domain to condemn a large parcel of waterfront property for economic redevelopment. In the past, the court has been pretty friendly to uses of eminent domain. However, the particulars of this case set it apart from previous precedent. It's an important case because a ruling against the city would provide a foothold for private property absolutists to argue against all manner of environmental and urban renewal regulations.