Beating Up Litigant is Not a Judicial Act
John Roberts Made A Lawyer Joke

Preview of Cato's Supreme Court Review

Each year, to celebrate Constitution Day, the Cato Institute publishes a Supreme Court Review.  I've been reading them since the inaugural issue, as they're sure not to disappoint.  This year seems like it won't be any exception, judging by Jonathon Adler's article. (Lv Kerr.)

Prof. Adler previews some of the interesting cases the Supreme Court has already agreed to hear.  As Prof. Berman noted, he does not discuss the upcoming death penalty cases.  (That's fine by me, since modern Supreme Court death penalty jurisprudence is meaningless.)

Anyhow, I highly recommend the article, mainly because the same cases I care about, Prof. Adler seems to care about too.  In other words, if you like this blog, you will love the article.  Here it is.

The cases I'm closely watching, and thus will blog about, include these issues:

*    Whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act prevents the government from prosecuting members of a religious sect who use hallucinogenic tea to talk to God.  (pp. 6-8).

*    Whether the federal government can prevent the people of the state of Oregon from allowing doctors to prescribe medicine to help sick people die with dignity.  (pp. 8-11).

*   May a victim of disability discrimination sue a prison under Title II of the ADA, or does sovereign immunity bar his suit? (pp. 12-13).

*    The Crime & Federalism blockbuster: Does the Hobbs Act criminalize threats of violence unconnected to economic activity?  (pp. 16-17).  As Adler aptly notes: 

[This] question is interesting insofar as it induces the Court to consider the scope of federal criminal law. If the Hobbs Act were to extend to all acts or threats of violence that obstruct or affect commerce in some way, it would become an incredibly sweeping federal criminal statute. It would also bring all manner of local violent crimes within RICO’s reach as potential predicate acts.

*   Can a prosecutor be fired for doing the right thing and volunteering that a prosecution witness was likely lying?  (pp. 24-25).  (Incidentally, I'll be returning to my alma matter to beat up moot some law students who are arguing this case for our school's intraschool moot court competition.)

As you can see, there will be a lot of interesting cases next term.  I noted the ones that interest me,  but I encourage you to read the entire article since there are a lot of other interesting cases on the docket.