The criminal justice cases on the SCOTUS docket that are likely of the greatest interest to sentencing fans are scheduled for oral argument on Nov 3 (aka Election Day): Jones v. Mississippi, No. 18-1259, will address the Eighth Amendment rules for imposing LWOP sentences on juvenile murders, and Borden v. US, No. 19-5410, will explore another variation on the application of the severe mandatory minimum term in the Armed Career Criminal Act. Based on what I am hearing about the pace and content of the on-going confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, it sounds as though the Supreme Court might be back to nine Justices by that time.
Today, though, the Supreme Court is operating with only eight Justices, and those eight are scheduled to hear oral arguments in these two criminal cases (previewed via SCOTUSblog):
Issue(s): Whether an unsuccessful attempt to detain a suspect by use of physical force is a “seizure” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 8th, 9th and 11th Circuits and the New Mexico Supreme Court hold, or whether physical force must be successful in detaining a suspect to constitute a “seizure,” as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals hold.
Case preview: When is a fleeing suspect “seized”? (authored by Jeffrey Bellin)
Issue(s): Whether a criminal conviction bars a noncitizen from applying for relief from removal when the record of conviction is merely ambiguous as to whether it corresponds to an offense listed in the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Case preview: Harsh immigration consequences from ambiguous state criminal convictions (authored by Kate Evans)