My headline is an intentional invert of Jerry Mitchell’s misleading headline in today’s Clarion Ledger. He wrote: ”Appeal by reputed Klansman Seale still could be heard by high court”. His article starts:
Reputed Mississippi Klansman James Seale has another chance of the U.S. Supreme Court agreeing to hear his case
Seale’s appeal of his conviction for kidnapping two black men who were killed in rural Mississippi in 1964 was not among the 14 the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear.
But the court is supposed to confer on another round of appeals within a week’s time.
It then goes on with a long summary of events in the case that Mitchell obviously had ready to file if the Supreme Court granted cert. But it didn’t grant cert.
The statement in the headline is technically true– there has been no public announcement of a denial of certiorari in Seale’s case, and so the case still could be heard. But there’s a real likelihood that the Supreme Court denied cert and just hasn’t announced it yet.
As Will Bardwell has written (in this post about Mississippi cases listed for the Supreme Court’s Monday conference), the Seale case was listed for the justice’s Monday conference; this particular conference, just before the start of the term, is called the “long conference.” Here’s what the SCOTUS blog says about it:
On Monday, the Court will hold its “Long Conference,” during which the Justices will consider the thousands of petitions for certiorari filed over the summer. (Our list of petitions to watch for that conference is available here.)
Orders granting certiorari from that Conference are likely to be issued at 10 a.m. (all times are Eastern) on Tuesday, September 28th, and we will be live-blogging the release of those orders. Orders denying certiorari will likely be released at 10 a.m. on Monday, October 4th.
So, the real story is this: The Supreme Court didn’t agree to hear Seale’s case at the Monday conference, which means that if it decided whether to take the petition, they’ll be announcing next Monday it won’t be hearing the case.