Supreme Court Begins New Term
Monday, the Supreme Court, with newly appointed Justice Sonia Sotomayor, begins its new term. Among the cases of interest:
- Whether police may reinterrogate a continuously imprisoned suspect about an offense for which he invoked his right to counsel three years earlier
- The applicability of Second Amendment gun rights to state and local governments
- Whether the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment bars Florida from imprisoning juveniles for the rest of their lives without any possibility for parole.
- The validity of a federal law that allows the government to hold alleged sexual predators indefinitely in protective custody once they are deemed to be "sexually dangerous," even after they have served a full criminal sentence.
- Whether Congress has the power to ban possession and distribution of images of animal cruelty, such as pit bull fights.
Does anyone think Justice Sotomayor is going to join forces with the more liberal justices on these cases? Given her background as a prosecutor, I tend to doubt it.
Reuters has this summary of the cases to be decided this term.
Due to a change in the schedule, tomorrow's oral arguments will be:
Does Edwards v. Arizona prohibit the re-interrogation of a suspect, who has invoked his Fifth Amendment rights to counsel and to remain silent, after a substantial amount of time has elapsed between the invocation of rights and the subsequent interrogation?
Whether a party has the right to an immediate appeal under the collateral order doctrine, as set forth in Cohen v. Beneficial Industrial Loan Corp., 337 U.S. 541 (1949), from a district court’s order finding waiver of the attorney-client privilege and compelling production of privileged materials.
Regarding Maryland v. Shatzer, here's the Amicus Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers that argues:
This Court should reaffirm the bright-line rule of Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U.S. 477 (1981), and hold that when a suspect invokes his Fifth Amendment right to counsel, the police may not reinitiate interrogation without making counsel available to the suspect, regardless of any alleged break in custody or lapse in time since the invocation of this right.
At an absolute minimum, this Court should not permit police to reinitiate interrogation of a suspect concerning the very same offense as to which he invoked the right to counsel, especially where the suspect is incarcerated.
Update: Law Prof Douglas Berman of Sentencing Law and Policy has compiled a list of the term's cases most likely to affect sentencing.
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