The first case for argument in the Supreme Court this morning has a very interesting underlying issue: whether a policy of shackling all criminal defendants at pretrial appearances in a federal district court is constitutional.
But as comes before the justices, the questions presented are more procedural in nature, including whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit had the authority to review the “interlocutory” appeal of a group of detainees after the federal district court upheld the U.S. Marshals Service restraint policy in the Southern District of California, which is based in San Diego.
If Kedem comes across as the strait-laced, able Washington lawyer for the prosecution, Cahn has a bit of a Southern California vibe in his voice and manner.
“We believe the courtroom really is a sacred space,” he says, sometimes sticking his hand in his pocket and swaying back slightly from the lectern. “We believe judges control that space and assure that individuals come before the court with dignity and with autonomy and with their liberty interest protected, and that there was a well-established right at common law that, under this court’s precedent, is incorporated in the Due Process Clause to appear before courts free of bonds.”
Cahn mentions the notorious Newgate prison in London, where for centuries detainees faced “terrible conditions, shackled hand and foot, and without question, their bonds would be struck off for their arraignments.”
Monday, March 26, 2018
Reuben Cahn goes to DC
Reuben Cahn—the Defender in San Diego, the former first assistant here in the SDFLA, and all around good guy—argued in the Supreme Court today. It looks like it was an interesting argument and that Reuben did very well. Here’s the review from SCOTUSBlog: