[Posted October 29, 2007] This week promises plenty of goodies for those who follow developments in the appellate courts. The Supreme Court’s November session begins this morning, with 30 cases in a variety of case areas, plus the swearing-in ceremony later today for those who passed the July bar examination. The court will this week hear argument in several interesting cases, including Moreau v. Fuller, testing whether mandamus is available to compel a juvenile court judge to make a finding in a criminal case, instead of deferring it.

Tomorrow, the Court of Appeals will issue its usual week’s supply of opinions. On average, about two will be published, and I’ll post commentary on those the same day.

On Wednesday, the Fourth Circuit will hear oral argument in the case of Al-Marri v.Wright, the case in which an alleged enemy combatant challenges his indeterminate detention without charges. A panel of the court granted Al-Marri’s habeas corpus petition in June, and the court granted en banc rehearing in August. This is a very important case for the government and for civil libertarians alike. (Thanks to my cyber-colleague Steve Minor over at the excellent SW Virginia Law Blog, for the tip on this rehearing date.) That evening, of course, I’ll be handing out extra-large handfuls of more conventional goodies to kids on one of my favorite holidays of the year.

There’s nothing out of the ordinary on Thursday (except that this is the date of the Moreau argument), so this would be a good day for Governor Kaine to announce his appointment of a Court of Appeals judge to replace newly-retired Judge Jim Benton.

And Friday is opinion day, in which I will analyze the cases decided from the September session. Right now, there are 23 such cases left, and one held over that was argued in June, so Friday promises to be a busy day around here. As I have noted before, the September session was flooded with criminal cases (20 out of the 29 argued), so that will be the theme of my sermon this Friday.