Just because a case has been decided doesn’t mean all issues surrounding it have been resolved. We will be reminded of this on Monday afternoon when Elena Kagan will begin her confirmation hearings by listening to what surely will be more than a few Senatorial earfuls over whether she agrees with the decisions in any of the four big cases the Court will have handed down just that morning.
But there will be other cases from this term that will continue to make hay in our courts and at the ballot box. The Court’s 5-4 opinion in Graham v. Florida invalidating life sentences without parole for juveniles convicted of non-homicide crimes is one such case. Graham has triggered changes–and with changes, challenges–to the criminal law’s political and legal landscape.
For those interested in some compelling post-Graham analysis, please check out Scott Hechinger’s article in the forthcoming issue of the NYU Review of Law & Social Change, now available on SSRN. Scott is a newly-credentialed NYU Law graduate, the 2010-11 Sinsheimer Children’s Rights Fellow, and very good friend of mine. This article is loaded with smart analysis and debatable positions that F1@1F readers will surely enjoy.