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In the last two posts, we looked at the sharp drop in criminal appeals (Criminal Leave Applications [CLA’s]) granted at the Court of Appeals in the past few years and at the frequency–and rarity–of grants by each of the Judges. Now let’s see how the Court has been deciding those appeals and how each Judge has been voting: pro-prosecution versus pro-accused. We saw that the Judges collectively granted 36 criminal appeals last year. Of …
We previously looked at the stark disparity among the Court of Appeals Judges in the number of CLA’s (Crimnal Leave Applications) they granted last year. Some Judges had comparatively high numbers. Others very low. These figures underscore what is well known by attorneys who practice before New York’s highest court, as well as by those who have worked there and by those who study it. Getting permission to argue a criminal appeal before the Court…
We previously looked at the stark disparity among the Court of Appeals Judges in the number of CLA’s (Crimnal Leave Applications) they granted last year. Some Judges had comparatively high numbers. Others very low. These figures underscore what is well known by attorneys who practice before New York’s highest court, as well as by those who have worked there and by those who study it. Getting permission to argue a criminal appeal before the Court…
The battle now begins. As we all now know, federal appeals court Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the D.C. Circuit was nominated for the Supreme Court this week by President Trump. To Republicans, he is apparently the greatest thing since sliced bread. To Democrats, he is apparently the prince of darkness. Well, like most of us, he’s somewhere in the middle.(His official biography is linked below.) He is ideologically conservative. Maybe very much so. Maybe extremely…
In the previous post, we reviewed Anthony Kennedy’s votes and authored opinions in a wide range cases that deeply divided the Court. These were cases where the Justices split 5-4 along partisan political lines, and where the change in a single vote in the majority would have reversed the Court’s decision. What might well be unexpected to some–because Kennedy has been accurately viewed as a–or the–“swing vote” on some significant, controversial issues–is that his…
(The travel ban decision or Kennedy’s retirement? A wonderful student I bumped into yesterday suggested addressing the retirement first. So here goes.)This post was updated  the following day to correct the omission of Kennedy’s dissenting vote in the Obamacare case. Anthony Kennedy, who announced last Wednesday that he will retire from the Supreme Court, was President Reagan’s 3rd choice to fill the vacancy created when Lewis Powell took his leave in 1987. Reagan was mortified…
(Today’s “travel ban” decision was another pathetic partisan divide. The 5 Republicans vs the 4 Democrats. We’ll discuss that next. But first, this privacy/search & seizure milestone.) The Supreme Court ruled this past Friday that when government tracks a person’s movements and whereabouts–in this case for 4 months, using cellphone location data–that is a search. Speaking through Chief Justice Roberts’ majority opinion in Carpenter v. U.S., the Court held that government must (except, for example,…
As readers of New York Court Watcher are well aware, as are those who have attended my lectures or heard me on the air, I have the highest regard for the New York Court of Appeals as an institution and for the Judges who serve on it. Indeed, I’ve made clear my view–just as I did many years ago at the end of my Supreme Court Fellowship to an august audience that included Chief Justice…
In Gill v. Whitford, the case involving hyper-partisan gerrymandering, the Supreme Court chose not to render a final decision. Instead, the Court returned the case to the lower court for further proceedings. At issue was the carving of voting districts by a state legislature–here, in Wisconsin–in such a way that favors the political party in power (the Republicans) over a different party (the Democrats), in gross disproportion to the votes the respective parties received statewide, even…
In Gill v. Whitford, the case involving hyper-partisan gerrymandering, the Supreme Court chose not to render a final decision. Instead, the Court returned the case to the lower court for further proceedings. At issue was the carving of voting districts by a state legislature–here, in Wisconsin–in such a way that favors the political party in power (the Republicans) over a different party (the Democrats), in gross disproportion to the votes the respective parties received statewide, even…