The First Monday

The first Monday of October marks the start of a new Supreme Court term. A New York Times editorial reviews some of the important issues soon to come before the Court and offers a useful tip for divining the likely outcome of those cases:

The best predictor of how they will vote is to ask: What outcome would a conservative Republican favor as a matter of policy?

Of course, conservative Republicans don't inevitably agree amongst themselves; e.g., the moneyed Republicans differ from the Christian-focused Republicans on immigration policy. Sadly, the Times predictor will probably work well for criminal justice and civil liberties (including voting rights) issues. Here are some of the important questions the Court has agreed to consider:

Rounding out the first two weeks of oral argument are a group of criminal cases, addressing the gulf between sentences for crack and powder cocaine, the latitude sentencing judges have to reduce prison time in routine cases, and whether trading drugs to obtain a gun fits the definition of gun "use" barred in the federal drug law. The Court will also weigh the constitutionality of New York's judicial selection system and the appeal of a Mexican death row inmate.

Briefs for cases to be argued in October are available here.

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    Times Predictor (none / 0) (#1)
    by diogenes on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 06:36:39 PM EST
    Of course, the liberal four justices' votes could just as easily be defined as "What outcome would a liberal Democrat favor as a matter of policy?"