In an odd series of events, its looks like the plaintiff in one of the Court’s upcoming cases has passed away. Mario Claiborne of Claiborne v. US died in some sort of shooting in the streets of St. Louis. His case revolved around the idea that it is ‘reasonable’ for a judge to give an individual a sentence that is lower than the mandatory guidelines.
This morning, the Court vacated the case as moot. Ordinarily, the court will allow the estate of an individual to continue the case if the merits have any effect on those outside the case. In the case of Roe v. wade for instance, Norma McCorvey had already given birth when the court issued its ruling. Since Claiborne’s sentence is now of little consequence, it isn’t surprising that the court threw out the case. The court will simply dismiss the case from its own docket if possible, but in this case, they ruled that the lower court’s ruling was also invalid, ensuring that the lower ruling was not established as any sort of precedent.