Here's Justice Ginsburg in Kimbrough: We hold that, under Booker, the cocaine Guidelines, like all other Guidelines, are advisory only, and that the Court of Appeals erred in holding the crack/powder disparity effectively mandatory. A district judge must include the Guidelines range in the array of factors warranting consideration. The judge may determine, however, that, in the particular case, a within- Guidelines sentence is “greater than necessary” to serve the objectives of sentencing. 18 U. S. C. §3553(a) (2000 ed. and Supp. V). In making that determination, the judge may consider the disparity between the Guidelines’ treatment of crack and powder cocaine offenses.
And Justice Stevens in Gall: We now hold that, while the extent of the difference between a particular sentence and the recommended Guidelines range is surely relevant, courts of appeals must review all sentences — whether inside, just outside, or significantly outside the Guidelines range — under a deferential abuse-of-discretion standard. We also hold that the sentence imposed by the experienced District Judge in this case was reasonable.
Watson case was also decided today (Dec. 10) by the Supreme Court. Again from Doc Berman, "Here's the basics from SCOTUSblog:
In the last of three rulings on Monday, the Court decided unanimously that one does not “use” a gun, for purposes of imposing a mandatory five-year sentence, if the person receives the gun in a trade for drugs. Justice David H. Souter wrote the opinion in Watson v. U.S. (06-571).
The opinion in Watson (06-571) is here, and this ruling (along with Gall and Kimbrough) reinforce my view that the US Supreme Court is right now the most pro-defendant appellate court on criminal sentencing issues in the nation. Whatever one thinks about the Court's purported moves to the right on other issues, in the arena of criminal sentencing, federal defendants certainly should be more hopeful arguing before the current Justices than before any other group of appellate judges.