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An Unapologetic Con-Law Nerd Reports from the Supreme Court

November 02, 2012 (1 min read)

"So I went up to the Supreme Court yesterday to hear argument in Chaidez v. United States, No. 11-820.  Chaidez concerns the straightforward question whether the Court’s decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010), applies retroactively – i.e., to defendants whose convictions became final prior to its issuance two years ago.  Jeffrey Fisher from Stanford Law School’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic argued on behalf of Ms. Chaidez, and Michael Dreeben from the Solicitor General’s office on behalf of the government.  Spirited arguments from both sides.  Shout out to Friend of BR Chuck Roth from the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago, who sat right up front at counsel table with the other legal hotshots.  First off, I have to say I love attending arguments at the Supreme Court.  I’m an unapologetic con-law nerd, and watching argument is like political theatre for lawyers.  It doesn’t even have to be an immigration case – even the dreariest dormant commerce clause dispute can be enthralling when you have the wisecracking Justice Scalia, the sharp-tongued Justice Ginsburg, and the gesticulating Justice Breyer on the bench.  You can keep your Arena Stage andShakespeare Theatre – for me, 1 First St., NE is where the drama really unfolds." - Thomas K. Ragland, Nov. 2, 2012.

- Thomas K. Ragland