U.S.v.Booker: The Supreme Court and the Sentencing Guidelines

February 4, 2005
Yale Law School, New Haven, CT
In recent years, one of the most important debates in American criminal law has concerned the federal judiciary’s role under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in U.S. v. Booker has intensified this debate by declaring the Guidelines unconstitutional as mandatory rules and henceforth merely advisory. What does Booker mean for the administration of federal criminal law? How should (and will) federal judges use their newfound sentencing discretion? How will Congress react to the Court’s decision? And what does the Court’s written opinion tell us about the cleavages within the Court itself?

Kate Stith, Lafayette S. Foster Professor of Law (the co-author of Fear of Judging) will moderate a panel discussion to address these and other questions. The distinguished panelists will include: Michael Dreeben, Deputy Solicitor General of the United States with special responsibility for criminal matters; Judge Nancy Gertner (D. Mass.); David Fein, head of Wiggin and Dana’s White-Collar Defense Practice Group and a former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York; and Daniel Freed, Clinical Professor Emeritus of Law and Editor of the Federal Sentencing Reporter.