Published on: Wednesday, January 17, 2018

On January 12th, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Chavez-Mena v. United States, No. 17-5639, to decide whether, when a district court decides not to grant a proportional sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), it must provide some explanation for its decision when the reasons are not otherwise apparent from the record. The Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits have held that district court must provide some explanation. The Fourth, Fifth, and Tenth Circuits have held that the court can issue its decision without any explanation so long as it is issued on a preprinted form order containing the boilerplate language providing that the court has taken into account USSG §1B1.10 and 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). 

The petition for writ of certiorari, brief in opposition, and reply are available at SCOTUSblog here.