November 19, 2015

Un-hold that case: briefing on Batson/Wheeler ordered

Occasionally, the Supreme Court will un-hold a case, that is it will ask for briefing in a matter that was originally taken as a grant-and-hold case.  It happened again yesterday, and the issue to be briefed and presumably decided is the hot button one of racial discrimination in jury selection.

Five months ago, the court granted review in People v. Enriquez, but ordered further action deferred pending disposition of related issues in People v. Elizalde and People v. Prunty.  After opinions were issued in Elizalde and Prunty (here and here, dealing with Miranda violations and gang enhancements, respectively), the usual procedure (see, e.g., here) would have been for the court to either transfer Enriquez back to the Court of Appeal for reconsideration in light of the Elizalde and Prunty decisions or to dismiss review and leave the Court of Appeal’s decision intact.  Instead, the court yesterday directed the parties to file briefs on the issue whether the Court of Appeal erred in upholding the trial court’s denial of defendants’ Batson/Wheeler motions.

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