Monday, June 29, 2009

Conservatives, Libertarians, Objectivists and Patriots In The Supreme Court

In my June 16, 2009 essay--"How To Be A Friend Of The Court In The Supreme Court"--I ended with the comments that: "I continue to marvel at the disinterest in filing amicus curiae briefs shown by organizations with a stake in Supreme Court decisions. Especially when one considers the time, cost and groveling required in the mostly unproductive attempt to lobby legislators. Just look at some of the cases the Court has already agreed to review in its October 2009 Term, which begins in October, let alone those yet to be accepted."

That opened the Pandora's Box of just what are "some of the cases the Court has already agreed to review in its October 2009 Term, which begins in October . . . ." (As of Monday, June 29, 2009, 38 cases have been accepted for review.) "Some cases," that is, which should be of interest to Conservatives, Libertarians, Objectivists and Patriots.

Here are just five examples:

Maryland v. Shatzer, Sr. A Supreme Court decision prohibits police officers from starting to question a suspect after she says she wants a lawyer. Should that rule be followed in a later interrogation that occurs some three years afterwards?

I'm sure you see the obvious implications for law enforcement.

Three amicus curiae briefs have been submitted supporting the government.

One--from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers--has been submitted, of course, supporting the criminal.

Graham v. Florida. The Eighth Amendment prohibits "cruel and unusual punishment. The question in this case is whether a life sentence (with no possibility of parole) can be imposed on a juvenile if the crime committed was not a homicide.

Sullivan v. Florida. Another Eighth Amendment case. A 13-year-old was sentenced to life (without possibility of parole) in a non-homicide case--a sentence infrequently rendered, apparently because "society" deems children less culpable than adults.

Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Florida Departmen of Environmental Protection. Florida enacted legislation for the purpose of rescuing ocean- and lake-front shorelines. As a result, the previous boundaries of private property were altered. The question here is does the legislation constitute a "taking" of private property with appropriate compensation.

The Pacific Legal Foundation has submitted an amicus curiae brief supporting the property owners.

United States v. Comstock. A federal statute provides for a court to civilly commit federal criminal prisoners near release who are deemed to be sexually dangerous and also such persons who are incarcerated due to a finding of incompetence to be tried. The question is whether Congress had the power to enact that statute.

Before the Supreme Court's 2009 Term (October 1, 2009--September 30, 2010) is over, at least another 30 cases will be accepted for review, and surely some of them should be of interest to conservatives, libertarians, objectivists and patriots.

As they are reported, I will mention some of them here.