James Edward Johnson

my thoughts from right to left

Supreme Court Transforms Use of Sentence Guidelines

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Anyone who thinks the Supreme Court operates on a simple 5-4 majority should read this article from NYTimes.com: Supreme Court Transforms Use of Sentence Guidelines. The article notes, “In the first part, five justices [Stevens, Scalia, Souter, Thomas and Ginsburg] declared that the current guidelines system violated defendants’ rights to trial by jury by giving judges the power to make factual findings that increased sentences beyond the maximum that the jury’s findings alone would support.”

There are shifting coalitions that result because a left-right divide is not the only one. Thomas, and sometimes Scalia, shift libertarian. Kennedy has a variety of unique views, particularly on the 11th amendment. Thomas is willing to override precedent and look at the Constitution’s text more than other justices. I am particularly pleased at Thomas’ views, but as a libertarian, he is probably the only one who consistently pleases me.


Written by JamesEJ

Thursday, January 13, 2005 at 10:50 am

Posted in other

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