We previously noted the cert petition in Neal v. United States, No. 09-1414, challenging the new Article 120.  The cert petition has been distributed for the Supremes’ 17 June conference.

13 Responses to “Neal cert petition distributed for 17 June conference”

  1. soonergrunt says:

    It feels very strange to comment in a non-birther thread. Let me get my bearings…
    What do you lawyer types think the Supreme Court will do with this?

  2. Edward Rooney, Dean of Students says:

    Deny cert.

  3. Phil Cave says:

    I’m going to double down an a question I had with Dwight, and predict they will deny the petition.

  4. soonergrunt says:

    Thanks to both of you. I’m guessing that denial of cert simply says that they aren’t going to hear the case and that has no implication for what they might actually think of the merits, or is it a judgement on the merits? It seems to me that the effect of a cert denial is to say that they have no problem with the last outcome, but I could be wrong.

  5. Edward Rooney, Dean of Students says:

    Generally speaking, you are correct. It could be any number of reasons, but I think the odds are that they will deny cert because they are unwilling to disturb the lower court’s decision.

    Here is a good primer (it’s a bit dated, but the main principles still apply):


  6. John O'Connor says:

    I predict the Supremes deny cert so they can leave space on their docket for the panoply of appeals sure to come from the Lakin court-martial proceedings.

  7. Phil Cave says:

    This is from an earlier edition, but most Supreme Court practitioners treat Stern & Grossman as sort of the “bible.”

    D]enial of a petition for writ of certiorari . . . simply means that fewer than four members of the Court deemed it desirable to review a decision of the lower court as a matter “of sound judicial discretion.” A variety of considerations underlie denials of the writ, and as to the same petition different reasons may lead different Justices to the same result.. . . Inasmuch, therefore, all that a denial of a petition for a writ of certiorari means is that fewer than four members of the Court thought it should be granted, this Court has rigorously insisted that such a denial carries with it no implication whatever regarding the Court’s views on the merits of a case which it has declined to review. The Court has said this again and again; again and again the admonition has to be repeated. United States v. Carver, 260 U.S. 482 (1923). See also, Evans and Jordan v. Stephens, et. al., 544 U.S. 942, n.1 (2005)(“Nothing is more basic to the functioning of this Court than an understanding that denial of certiorari is occasioned by a variety of reasons which precludes the implication that were the case here the merits would go against the petitioner”); and see, Stern & Gressman, Supreme Court Practice, 7th ed., para. 5.7.


  8. Ama Goste says:

    …only if he gets a sentence that gives him access to ACCA and then CAAF grants review.

  9. soonergrunt says:

    Thanks to all for the class. After reading the find law article, I have to wonder if spending the filing fee on powerball tickets might be a better investment for most people than appealing to the Supreme Court.

  10. Phil Cave says:

    You have too much common sense to remain on this site.


  11. Edward Rooney, Dean of Students says:

    Hmmmm…I read this:

    “If your petition is clearly meritless, the respondent may not even bother to file a brief in opposition.”

    Then I read this:

    “On Friday, the Acting Solicitor General waived the United States’ right to respond to the cert petition in Neal v. United States, No. 09-1414, which we discussed here. The cert petition is available here.”

    Is the latter that to which the former refers?

  12. Phil Cave says:

    Yes I think so.

    To my recollection it is the SG’s basic response to petitions in military cases, regardless of whether it is pro se or with counsel, and regardless of its merits.

    Dwight may have more recent intel on that.

  13. soonergrunt says:

    You have too much common sense to remain on this site.

    Well, I am, or more correctly was an NCO before (and this part is best over-enunciated with the Command Voice) I RETIRED.