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Today at the Court

The Court will hear oral arguments in three cases.

In Padilla v. Kentucky (08-651), it will consider whether the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of legal counsel is met by a defense lawyer who misrepresents the deportation consequences of a guilty plea to his noncitizen client.  Anna Christensen of Howe & Russell (along with David Owens of Stanford) previewed the argument yesterday on SCOTUSblog.

In the first capital case to be argued this term, Smith v. Spisak (08-724), the Court will consider jury unanimity as an issue in finding mitigating evidence in a capital case.  John Vukicevich, a law student at Washington College of Law, discusses the petitioner’s and respondent’s briefs at the SCOTUSwiki case page linked above.

The final argument, in South Carolina v. North Carolina (138 Original), the Court will consider whether non-parties may join lawsuits originally between two states.  SCOTUSblog’s Lyle Denniston analyzed the issue this spring, when the Court ordered a hearing on the question.