[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] agreed to hear two cases Tuesday, including one dealing with the procedure the state of New York employs to choose trial judges. In NY Board of Elections v. Torres, state election officials join both the Democratic and Republican parties in an appeal of a Second Circuit decision [PDF text; JURIST report] that the current process that picks judicial candidates for the general ballot at political conventions violates the First Amendment rights of both candidates and voters. In the case [Brennan Center materials], the lower courts ruled that New York's system of nominating its elected state trial court judges in political conventions [NY Election Law s. 6-106, PDF] rather than through primaries for trial level judges resulted in only friends of political powers having their names placed on the ballots. AP has more.
In Logan v. US, the Court will review the threshold for when repeat criminals can be treated as career criminals for sentencing purposes, when the convictions are for misdemeanor crimes. SCOTUSblog has more. Read the Court's full Order List [PDF text].