Supreme Court Notebook

Supreme Court won’t hear appeal on Pa. collar bomb 
ERIE, Pa. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an Erie woman’s appeal of her conviction and life sentence for her role in a bizarre bank robbery plot that left a pizza deliveryman dead when a collar bomb he was forced to wear exploded.
The Erie Times-News reports Tuesday that the high court refused to hear Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong’s appeal of a 3rd U.S. Circuit Court opinion earlier this year that a judge properly refused to suppress statements in the case and properly determined she was mentally competent to stand trial.
She’s serving life in prison. A federal court convicted Diehl-Armstrong of conspiracy and bank robbery charges in November 2010.
Deliveryman Brian Wells was killed when the bomb exploded after the bank robbery in August 2003.

Supreme Court’s Thomas speaks for 1st time in 7 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Clarence Thomas did something at a Supreme Court argument Monday for the first time in nearly seven years — he spoke.
But what Thomas said is not clear, other than he appears to have joked about Ivy League lawyers.
The argument transcript only records a few words. It quotes Thomas as saying, “Well, he did not...” Several justices laughed in response.
Louisiana lawyer Carla Sigler replied: “I would refute that, Justice Thomas.”
Two lawyers in the courtroom said Thomas was joking about Ivy League law school graduates, although one said it was at the expense of Thomas’ alma mater, Yale, and the other said rival Harvard was the butt of the joke.
Thomas hasn’t asked a question in court since February 22, 2006.

Grim U.S. Supreme Court death data used in predictor

BOSTON (Daily Record Newswire) — The discussion of potential Supreme Court appointments is always inherently delicate considering that vacancies can sometimes occur, well, involuntarily. But Slate has tossed tact aside with its new handy, if grim, tool: The Supreme Court Justice Death Calculator.
The online gizmo allows users to determine the likelihood that any justice - or any combination of justices – will pass away during President Barack Obama’s tenure, based on life expectancy data from the Centers for Disease Control.
While most speculation about potential vacancies focuses largely on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, according to the calculator — which runs 10,000 scenarios simulations with each user selection — the justice must likely to die before 2017 is Justice Antonin G. Scalia (likelihood ranges from 18 to 19 percent), followed by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy (roughly 18 percent).Ginsburg’s likelihood comes up closer to 17 percent after several spins on the morbid predictor. The justices least likely to die (less than 2 percent likelihood) are Justice Sonia M. Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan.
But the chances of two justices dying are pretty slim — no more than 4 percent for any combination of two — according to the calculator.


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