Here's a run-down of law-related events, expected developments and live webcasts on JURIST's docket for Monday, October 4.
The US Supreme Court's 2004 term begins today with 10 AM ET oral arguments in Kansas v. Colorado (case summary from Duke Law School), where the court will consider exceptions filed by Kansas to the Court-appointed Special Master's report investigating allegations that Colorado violated the Arkansas River Compact. The ABA provides merit briefs filed in the case.... The Court will also hear arguments in Kowalski v. Tesmer (case summary from Duke Law School), where the court will decide whether the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees an indigent criminal defendant, convicted by a guilty plea, the right to appellate attorney in a discretionary appeal and also whether attorneys have third-party standing to challenge the constitutionality of state statutes prohibiting such appointments. The ABA provides merit briefs filed in the case.... Finally, the Court will two-hour arguments in the consolidated cases of United States v. Booker and United States v. Fanfan (case summary from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism), where the court will consider the constitutionality of the federal sentencing guidelines in light of its decision last term in Blakely v. Washington [PDF]. The ABA provides merit briefs. The Washington Post has more on the sentencing cases and a preview of the new term. The National Chamber Litigation Center of the US Chamber of Commerce offers an additional preview of business cases on the Court's docket, featuring former Solicitor General Theodore Olson and former Acting Solicitor General Walter Dellinger. Watch recorded video of the press briefing.
In other US courts, the trial of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman begins with jury selection Monday. Siegelman faces federal charges for conspiracy, health care fraud and theft for allegedly trying to rig bids on contracts to provide medical care to pregnant women in rural Alabama. AP has more.
On Capitol Hill, the US Senate will meet at 10 AM ET and will resume consideration of the Intelligence Reform Bill (S 2845). Watch a live webcast (via C-SPAN).... The US House Rules Committee will meet at 5 PM ET to discuss a bill to create additional federal court judgeships (S 878).... A US Senate-House Conference Committee will meet at 7 PM ET to discuss the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (HR 4520).
The UN Security Council will hold closed consultations at 10 AM ET to discuss the Council's program of work for October and threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. The Security Council President will hold a 12:30 PM ET press conference on the October work program. Watch a live webcast.
In Warsaw, the Organization for Security and Cooperation's Human Dimension Implementation Meeting opens Monday and continues for two weeks. Key issues to be discussed include the promotion of non-discrimination, freedom of assembly and association, right to a fair trial, trafficking in human beings, and cooperation between international organizations promoting human rights. Read the conference's agenda [PDF].
Also abroad today, nine British law lords will consider whether the UK anti-terror law under which foreign suspects can be held indefinitely without charge is contrary to the European convention on human rights, guaranteeing a right to trial within a reasonable time. JURIST's Paper Chase has background and the Guardian has more.... In Fiji, a court-martial of 64 soldiers is scheduled to resume Monday. The soldiers face trial for their part in a May 2000 coup. Former Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka is scheduled to appear as a witness.... In Nigeria, the country's largest-ever fraud trial will begin as three defendants face 98 counts of "advance fee fraud" for allegedly duping a corrupt Brazilian bank official into sending them $242 million dollars from his employer's accounts.