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Supreme Court Convenes To Crowded, Controversial Docket

Publication Date: 
October 01, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle
Bob Egelko

Lecturer in Law Thomas Goldstein is quoted in a San Francisco Chronicle article discussing what is on the docket for the coming term of the Supreme Court:

"Last term, we had a whole series of cases that struck Justice Kennedy's conservative chords," said Thomas Goldstein, a Washington, D.C., attorney and veteran Supreme Court litigator. "Here we have some cases which might strike his individualistic, even slightly liberal chords."


"Unquestionably the court moved significantly to the right (last term), but there isn't a conservative hegemony there," said Goldstein, who has argued 17 cases before the court and taught Supreme Court litigation at both Stanford and Harvard.

The flash-point issues of last term, abortion and race, aligned Kennedy with the conservative bloc. But Goldstein said some issues now before the court, such as criminal sentencing and the rights of U.S. prisoners, foreshadow a more liberal alignment.

"Because as Justice Kennedy goes, so goes the court, the whole message from this term could be different," he said.

And Professor Jenny Martinez is quoted:

"It's pretty clear that a majority of this court, including Justice Kennedy, thinks there are some fundamental due-process rights that apply to prisoners at Guantanamo," said Jenny Martinez, a Stanford University law professor who has filed arguments supporting the inmates.

Although a ruling freeing prisoners or barring military trials is improbable, she said, the justices are likely to reaffirm that "Guantanamo is not a law-free zone."