Yesterday was the first Monday in October, which means it is time to start the 2009-10 Supreme Court term. So you are curious about the cases coming up, right? And you would like a place to go to where you can browse these cases and, if you want, pull the documents. Well you are in luck! SCOTUSblog.com, the blog of the United States Supreme Court, has a companion site called ScotusWiki.
From ScotusWiki's About page:
"Wiki" is derived from the Hawaiian word for quick, and in that spirit we’ve launched the ScotusWiki project; we hope the site enables you to find a plethora of information about Supreme Court cases incredibly quickly. While this site is still in its early stages, we’ve created a page for each case set for argument in the October sitting, and at each case’s page, you’ll find detailed previews, recaps and analyses, as well as links to briefs and other articles of interest. Each page will be regularly updated as the case progresses, but all the information will be available in one easy-to-find place (you can also view each page in a printable view). Organizing information by case is something that we can’t do given the scrolling format of a blog, and we’re excited for the possibilities. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be expanding the case section to include all cases granted in OT07.
A couple of cases I've heard a lot of buzz about are Graham v. Florida (08-7412) and Sullivan v. Florida (08-7621). The issue of each is whether the imposition of a life without parole sentence on a minor for a non-homicide violates the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishments under the Eighth and Fourteenth amendments, where the freakishly rare imposition of such a sentence reflects a national consensus on the reduced criminal culpability of children. Currently available on the Wiki are links to all of the briefs and documents, including the petitions for certiori and the merit and amicus briefs. For cases that have alread been heard or that have further analysis, there are areas in the Wiki for oral argument recap, opinion analysis and links with further information.
So visit ScotusWiki and take a look at the cases scheduled to be heard. Any of them seem interesting to you? Which ones?
Instructional and Research Services Librarian