Saturday, September 09, 2006

What a Week for Oral Arguments

It has has been quite a week for oral arguments.
  • On the Blakely / Smiley front, there was the Indiana Supreme Court oral argument in Anglemyer. (Direct RealPlayer link.)
  • There was also the 7th Circuit oral argument in the Indiana legislative prayer case, Hinrichs v. Bosma, Case No. 05-4604. (Direct MP3 link.) And I just discovered this tonight: links to all the briefs and even the short appendix may be had by pasting this link into your feed reader. (I use Forumzilla in Thunderbird, so everything just sits there until I clean it out. The items don't disappear or get cleaned out just because they're "read." That is especially nice to keep a list of opinions delivered by RSS.)
That's more than an hour's worth of worthwhile listening.

Marcia Oddi covered the Anglemyer argument in these posts: here and here, with links to the briefs in the second of the two. And Doug Berman on Sentencing Law & Policy links to Marcia here. National attention for Anglemyer and Marcia. My own take on the argument will follow. (Needless to say, the Indiana Supreme Court is not happy about it and the Court of Appeals having become sentencing courts after Indiana's awful Blakely fix where just about anything goes in the trial courts.)

I have something like 100 items sitting in my Thunderbird blog folder. Lots to do. I really want to finish a post I started long ago on Shouse v. State, a Court of Appeals case that appears ordinary enough, but was an entrance into the fascinating world of the use and misuse of precedent by the Indiana appellate courts. There are 17 cases I have to go read first.

And then there's Armstrong, from the Indiana Supreme Court, in which it turns out that an "accident" is only anything "undesirable." More specifically, someone intentionally leaps out of your car and you've been involved in an "accident."

Or there's the opening merits brief (link to PDF file in this SLP post) in Burton, the Blakely retroactivity case in the U.S. Supreme Court. Fascinating two-pronged argument: Blakely either changed nothing after Apprendi, or it's so new it's a watershed rule deserving full retroactive application, not just back to Apprendi. How's that for backing SCOTUS up against a wall? And why not a word about the procedural successive habeas problem?

And then there are all the implications and fun to be had with the appearance of the Court of Appeals unpublished decisions. Besides the categories of "Why wasn't this published?" and "There's a reason this isn't published," this could turn out to be a feast for habeas mavens.

All this great stuff to work with.

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