I’m back at Casa CAAFlog after being on the road during CAAF’s busy second half of last week. (And, of course, last Friday was the Lakin 32 that wasn’t.) The coming week looks like it will also be an interesting one.
This week at the Supremes: Tomorrow’s big military justice news won’t originate from a military justice case, though it could have a big impact on the military justice system. Tomorrow’s SCOUTS order list will probably include the grant or denial of cert in Pendergrass v. Indiana, No. 09-866, which deals with the permissibility of surrogate expert testimony under Melendez-Diaz. SCOTUS’s docket for the case, available here, indicates that Pendergrass’s counsel filed a letter with the Court the day before the case went to conference. Does anyone know the content of that letter? Tomorrow’s order list will almost certainly also include the denial of cert in the pro se IFP military cert petition in Taylor v. United States, No. 09-10418. The Army cert petitition in Miller v. United States, No. 09-1408, has been distributed for Thursday’s conference.
This week at CAAF: CAAF has completed oral arguments for the term. Six argued cases remain undecided: Nerad, Diaz, Lloyd, Contreras, Mullins, and Graner. It’s still unclear whether CAAF will issue an opinion in Blazier II this term or hold it over until next term, possibly ordering a reargument in the fall.
This week at the CCAs: ACCA, which hears far more oral arguments than the rest of the CCAs combined, will hear a false confession expert case on Thursday. The issue in United States v. McGinnis, No. ARMY 20071207, is: “WHETHER THE MILITARY JUDGE ABUSED HIS DISCRETION IN FAILING TO GRANT THE DEFENSE REQUEST TO APPOINT AN EXPERT ASSISTANT, WHICH INCLUDED BUT WAS NOT LIMITED TO EXPERT TESTIMONY, IN THE AREA OF COERCIVE LAW ENFORCEMENT INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES WHICH MAY LEAD TO A FALSE CONFESSION.