The New “Law & Order” Majority? Roberts, Kennedy, Breyer, Alito, and Sotomayor

June 9th, 2011

In Sykes v. United States (instant analysis here), Justice Kennedy writing for Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Breyer, Alito, and Sotomayor, held that “Felony vehicle flight, as proscribed by Indiana law, is a violent felony for purposes of ACCA [Armed Career Criminal Act],” afirming the 7th Circuit. Justice Scalia wrote a solo dissent. Justice Kagan dissented, joined by Justice Ginsburg.

Very interesting lineup, which mirrors the lineup in Michigan v. Bryant, another criminal procedure case.

In Bryant, Sotomayor wrote for Roberts, Kennedy, Breyer, and Alito. Thomas Concurred in Judgment. Scalia and Ginsburg dissented. Kagan recused.

I think this might represent a new “Law & Order” Majority, at least for non-Fourth Amendment criminal procedure cases.