Supreme Court to hear sentencing, communications cases

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court granted certiorari in four cases Tuesday. In Cunningham v. California, the Court will consider whether California's determinate sentencing law is invalid because judges are able to impose increased sentences based on their own findings of fact rather than those of the jury. In Global Crossing v. Metrophones, the Court will consider whether the federal Communications Act [PDF text] allows a payphone service provider to sue a long-distance carrier to recover compensation for coinless phone calls. In Medimmune v. Genentech, the Court will rule on whether a patent license holder must first breach that agreement before suing to challenge the patent's validity. Finally, as reported previously in JURIST's Paper Chase, the Court agreed to hear Gonzales v . Carhart, an abortion case [JURIST report], where it will consider the constitutionality of the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act [PDF text]. Read the Court's full Order List [PDF]. AP has more.

Also Tuesday, the Court declined to rule on a petition by the US government in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld [PDF certiorari petition] to dismiss a constitutional challenge [JURIST report] to the military tribunal process at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], deciding without explanation to wait until a scheduled hearing in March. The government is arguing that US courts no longer have the jurisdiction to hear cases which challenge military tribunals [JURIST news archive] under the Detainee Treatment Act [JURIST document] passed by Congress last year. AFP has more.

The Court also decided to take no action Tuesday on the appeal [JURIST report] by alleged "dirty bomber" Jose Padilla [JURIST news archive], a US citizen who is challenging his detention for 3.5 years as an "enemy combatant" without having been charged.

 

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