The Justice Department will ask the Supreme Court within days to salvage federal sentencing guidelines, now under siege in many courts, the New York Times reports. The court could hear the dispute early in its new term, which starts Oct. 4. The issue is the rapid demise of the federal sentencing rules – a direct result of its own 5-to-4 ruling last month.
Paul Clement, the acting United States solicitor general, has approved taking two cases swiftly to the Supreme Court. One would be a direct appeal from a ruling by a federal trial judge in Portland, Me., bypassing the federal appeals court in Boston. The other would be a regular appeal from a decision by a federal appeals court in Chicago. The justices are in recess until mid-September, but they are expected to act on the appeals through a telephone conference call. One case involves Ducan Fanfan, 30, of Somerville, Mass., was convicted of cocaine trafficking. The other defendant is Freddie Booker, a Wisconsin man convicted of distribution of cocaine “base.”