Here's Doc Berman (again--he's the GREATEST!): (the dissents are always the most interesting and informative--so much for "consensus" -- the five-to-four splits are always the most controversial too)
Though the rest legal world will sure obsess endlessly about the 5-4 Supreme Court ruling today upholding a federal ban on partial birth abortions, I plan to obsess (endlessly?) about the 5-4 Supreme Court ruling today upholding an application of a criminal history sentencing enhancement in James. Here is the basic early report from SCOTUSblog on James:
In another 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that an individual convicted of attempted burglary under state law has committed a "violent felony" for purposes of a mandatory 15-year sentence under federal law dealing with armed criminals. The ruling came in James v. U.S. (05-9264). Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., wrote for the majority. The voted produced an unusual array: with Alito in the majority were Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Kennedy and David H. Souter.
Based on the unusual vote line-up and the outcome, I suspect James will provide many tea leaves about future Sixth Amendment cases. I will, of course, post and comment on the opinion once it is available.
UPDATE: The James opinion can now be accessed here. It runs 44 pages total (including the syllabus). Here is the dissenting line-up: "SCALIA, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which STEVENS and GINSBURG, JJ., joined. THOMAS, J., filed a dissenting opinion." Why can't my printer go faster!!Other Stuff of Interest: (from How Appealing and Howard Bashman--again--he's the goto news guy on the blawgershpere!)
"Microsoft Settles Iowa Lawsuit": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Microsoft Corp. agreed Wednesday to pay Iowans up to $180 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that claimed the company had a monopoly that cost the state's citizens millions of dollars extra for software products."
Access online the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Assn. v. Brentwood Academy, No. 06-427: The transcript can be accessed here. In coverage of the oral argument, The Associated Press reports that "Court Considers Football Recruiting Case."