Wednesday, February 08, 2006

DBR covers our new Circuit Justice

Carl Jones does a nice job explaining the ramifications of our Circuit Justice changing from Kennedy to Thomas in today's Daily Business Review (UPDATE -- available from here). We covered that change here. Here's an excerpt from Jones' article:

On Feb. 1 Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. assigned Thomas to oversee the 11th Circuit. The move was part of a shuffle following the confirmation of Justice Samuel Alito Jr. The power to grant emergency stays is most critical in death penalty cases. But it’s also a key method of freezing judgments and judicial orders in time-sensitive legal disputes like those that arose in the end-of-life case involving Terri Schiavo and in the 2000 presidential election recount battle. If a justice denies a petition, a litigant can still ask the other eight justices, or the full court, to review the case. But experts say the chances of being granted review decrease if the justice in charge of a circuit already has denied review. Thomas’ appointment to cover the 11th Circuit makes some Florida criminal defense lawyers nervous. “I don’t perceive Justice Thomas as being particularly friendly toward death penalty defendants,” said Neal DuPree, the Fort Lauderdale-based capital collateral regional counsel for South Florida. His state agency represents death row inmates in post-conviction habeas corpus petitions.

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