Friday, January 11, 2008

Supreme Court to hear Giles case (updated)

Lyle Denniston reports that the Supreme Court has granted certiorari in Giles v. California. You can read more on I believe this is excellent news. You can read my prior posting on Giles, and get links to the papers in t he case -- including the brief I put in supporting a grant of certiorari -- by clicking here, and you can see the Court's order by clicking here. Ann Murphy has provided a link to Linda Greenhouse's article on the grant in today's New York Times. It's a good article, though with some errors; I think Greenhouse is about the only general-readership journalist who has appreciated the significance of Crawford.

The petitioner's brief is due February 20, and the state's brief is due March 19; the briefs of amici are due at the same time as that of the party being supported. The date the reply brief is due will depend on the argument date, which will be some time in April. The Court set a moderately expedited schedule to allow the case to be argued, and presumably decided, this term.

There was no order in the capital sentencing cases yesterday. The best bet probably is that an order denying cert will be issued Monday. But two of the cases were held over before, and it could happen again.

I was hoping that the Court would grant cert because I think this is an excellent case on which to test an important issue, whether a desire to render the witness unavailable is an absolute prerequisite for forfeiture of the confrontation right. But I believe the California Supreme Court was correct that the answer is no.

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