In the Mold of Scalia or Alito: Recent Criminal and Habeas Decisions of Judges Pryor and Sykes
9 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2017
Date Written: January 7, 2017
Recent press reports indicate that federal appellate judges William Pryor and Diane Sykes are among the finalists for the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Scalia’s death. But just as Justice Scalia and fellow conservative Justice Alito often differed on questions of criminal and habeas corpus procedure, so too have Judges Pryor and Sykes. This short essay analyzes four legal issues on which the two judges have recently reached contrary results or demonstrated different approaches — including two legal issues arising from Justice Scalia’s last major criminal procedure opinion, Johnson v. United States. The essay concludes that, though the decisions analyzed here represent only a small sample, they suggest that Judge Sykes’s approach to criminal procedure questions would more closely resemble Justice Scalia’s, while Judge Pryor’s would be more similar to that of Justice Alito.
Keywords: Pryor, Sykes, Trump, Scalia, Alito
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation