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Old 10-09-2019, 10:38 AM  
NinerDoug NinerDoug is offline
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Brett Kavanaugh on Racist Criminal Procedure

https://qz.com/1723582/kavanaugh-cal...me-court-term/

Kavanaugh calls out racism in the law on the first day of the new Supreme Court term

The Supreme Court heard arguments Monday on the constitutionality of a Louisiana law that allows criminal convictions based on jury verdicts that aren’t unanimous.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh pointed out that the Louisiana law had racist roots. He noted that there were two “practical reasons” to overrule the precedent the state relied on. One was unfairness to defendants who may well have a constitutional right to a unanimous jury, and the other was the law’s apparently racist intent.

“The rule in question here is rooted in a—in racism, you know, rooted in a desire, apparently, to diminish the voices of black jurors,” the justice told the state’s solicitor general, Elizabeth Murrill.

“Why aren’t those two things enough to overrule… unfairness to defendants and rooted in racism?” he asked Murrill. She replied that the law was not “fundamentally unfair.” But Kavanaugh didn’t look convinced.

Although the conservative justice seems a somewhat unlikely champion of minorities, he recently also authored the majority opinion in a case reversing a quadruple murder conviction based on a racist jury selection process and is actually steeped in the topic. The opinion was an eloquent condemnation of racism.

Kavanaugh’s unexpected question was just one sign that, as ever, it will be impossible to predict where the justices fall on any issue until they reveal their decisions.

In the jury case, Stanford University law school professor Jeffrey Fisher argued for the petitioner, Evangelista Ramos, that the Louisiana law is unconstitutional. Although a unanimous jury trial is guaranteed in federal criminal cases, Louisiana argues that it has leeway under Supreme Court precedent to create its own standards and that Ramos’s conviction for murder by a jury verdict of 10-2 should stand.

Fisher argued that a unanimous jury verdict of even just six people is more trustworthy than a decision reached without unanimity by a majority of 12 or 20 or more. Justice Neil Gorsuch acknowledged “the functionalist argument about numbers,” and then asked dismissively: “Got anything else?”
Chief justice John Roberts, too, said he was skeptical of the contention that it’s better to be convicted by six people in agreement than a group of 12 with two dissenters, suggesting, “Ask a defendant. I’m not sure it’s self-apparent.”

Still, it was the state that seemed to bear the brunt of the justices’ questions. The chief asked Louisiana, “how far are you willing to go?” He wondered how few people could be in a jury and still count as a fair number for a sound conviction. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg added, “Are you asking us to reject the federal unanimity rule?”

The justices dismissed the state’s arguments that there would be administrative chaos if all the cases that had been decided by non-unanimous jury verdicts while the state law was in place had to be heard again.

Gorsuch reminded the state that defendants also rely on order, the orderly administration of justice, which might demand that Louisiana deal with inconvenient consequences of an arguably unconstitutional law. “Counsel, on your reliance interests, you say we should worry about the 32,000 people imprisoned. One might wonder whether we should worry about their interests under the Sixth Amendment as well,” he said.

The justices will consider arguments over the next few months, and will likely announce a decision next year.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:40 AM   #2
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Yes Niner that's exactly what we need. More racially-driven divisiveness.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:41 AM   #3
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What a waste of a SCOTUS Justice's valuable time and effort. We definitely should have picked our own cotton.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by vailpass View Post
What a waste of a SCOTUS Justice's valuable time and effort. We definitely should have picked our own cotton.
And our own strawberries right? We can still make a good decision for future generations right this moment: we boot the 12M folks doing the menial labor you just mentioned.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:48 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Discuss Thrower View Post
Yes Niner that's exactly what we need. More racially-driven divisiveness.
Sorry, I'm not following you. Do you disapprove of the USSC for taking the case, Kavanaugh for the remarks he made, me for posting the thread, or all three?

Or, you just don't want to talk about anything racial? What's got you triggered here?
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:24 AM   #6
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In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
Although it seems weird for me to see a non unanimous jury, I don't know if there's anything in this amendment that mandates a magic number of 12 all in agreement.

With the originalist/literalist/state's rights makeup of the court I think this should be 5-4 upheld, but Kavanaugh and Gorsuch are still relatively unknown quantities and criminal cases don't always seem to break on the usual liberal/conservative lines.
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by banyon View Post
Although it seems weird for me to see a non unanimous jury, I don't know if there's anything in this amendment that mandates a magic number of 12 all in agreement.

With the originalist/literalist/state's rights makeup of the court I think this should be 5-4 upheld, but Kavanaugh and Gorsuch are still relatively unknown quantities and criminal cases don't always seem to break on the usual liberal/conservative lines.
I would guess that the argument is it violates the 14th, as it is intended to provide for convictions around the no votes of black jurors. That seems to be the implication of Kavanaugh's remarks.
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:31 AM
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:38 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by NinerDoug View Post
I would guess that the argument is it violates the 14th, as it is intended to provide for convictions around the no votes of black jurors. That seems to be the implication of Kavanaugh's remarks.
Nah. They have only argued the Sixth:

https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketP...iana.Reply.pdf

short brief.
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:43 AM   #9
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Also it should be noted that LA has already apparently amended its State constitution to change this.
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