Supreme Court to Hold Special Outreach Session at UC Berkeley Law School
Live TV Broadcast of Oral Arguments on Nov. 3 in Cases Involving Medical
Marijuana, DNA Evidence, and Sex Offender Law
[UPDATE!!! UPDATE!!! California NORML Coordinator Dale Gieringer attended today’s oral arguments and filed this report:
In a remarkable turn of events, both sides at today’s California Supreme Court Hearing on the Kelly case agreed that the so-called SB 420 quantity limits in Health and Safety Code 11362.77 are unconstitutional when applied to limit patients’ right to a compassionate use defense under Prop. 215.
Instead, they discussed how the Kelly decision could be recast so as not to invalidate 11362.77 when used for other purposes: for example, to protect card-holding patients from arrest when they are within the limits.
Michael Johnsen from the Attorney General’s Office admitted that their “position had evolved” since the Kelly case was first argued, when they had tried to claim that the limits in 11362.77 were constitutional. Asked by the court why they should even be hearing the case in that event, Johnsen said that the court should narrow the Appellate Court decision so as to not throw out 11362.77 altogether.
“I have never had the pleasure of getting up in an appellate argument and saying I agree with everything my opponent said,” remarked defense attorney Gerald Uelmen.
Patrick Kelly was originally charged with growing 7 plants and 12 ounces, an amount above the SB 420 limits. His defense argued that he could not be convicted for exceeding the limits, because Prop. 215 guarantees patients the right to have whatever amount is reasonably related to their medical needs. The Appellate Court agreed that the limits were an unconstitutional amendment to Prop. 215, and struck down the entirety of 11362.77 as unconstitutional.
Today, both sides agreed that 11362.77 was unconstitutional as applied to Kelly’s case, but that it should be preserved in other situations, where it provides useful guidelines for arrest. The court’s final decision will be forthcoming in 90 days.] San Francisco—For the ninth year in a row, the California Supreme
Court will reach out to hundreds of students at a special oral argument
session from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3, 2009, at the
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, at Booth Auditorium,
2778 Bancroft Way, Berkeley.
The educational program is designed to improve public understanding of
state courts and is being held in collaboration with the School of Law.
Law students, university faculty and staff, and dozens of high school
and middle school students are expected to attend.
California Chief Justice Ronald M. George and Berkeley Law Dean
Christopher Edley, Jr., will make opening remarks, followed by a
question-and-answer session between law students and the justices.
LIVE TELEVISION BROADCAST
California Channel, a public affairs cable network, will broadcast oral
arguments in all five cases to be argued before the court. The network
reaches 6.5 million viewers across the state and will offer a satellite
link to facilitate coverage by other stations. There is no direct link to the webcast yet, but it will be available online at The California Channel under the ‘Live Web’ section, as well as on your local cable TV provider in CA.
11:00 a.m. (Pacific): People v. Kelly (Patrick K.) (and related habeas corpus matter), S164830 concerns the Legislature’s authority to impose quantity limitations on users of “medical marijuana.”
The five cases follow:
10:00 a.m.: People v. Robinson (Paul Eugene), S158528 involves the use
of DNA profile evidence to identify an unnamed defendant in a felony
complaint and arrest warrant.
11:00 a.m.: People v. Kelly (Patrick K.) (and related habeas corpus
matter), S164830 concerns the Legislature’s authority to impose
quantity limitations on users of “medical marijuana.”
1:30 p.m. In re J. (E.) on Habeas Corpus, S156933 and other consolidated
cases involve residential restrictions imposed on persons required to
register as sex offenders.
2:30 p.m.: People v. McKee (Richard), S162823 concerns the validity of
amendments to the Sexually Violent Predator Act, making commitments
indeterminate, instead of for a term of two years.
3:30 p.m.: People v. Lessie (Tony), S163453 involves the legal effect of
a minor’s request to speak to a parent during a police
EDUCATIONAL WEB SITE
The Supreme Court has launched an educational Web site for the special
session, which includes detailed summaries and briefs for each case to
be argued, at http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/courts/supreme/oralarg-briefs.htm.
Detailed case summaries, with information on the background and legal
issues involved in each case, are attached to this news release and can
be found at
These materials may be used by students, teachers, and members of the
public to learn more about the five cases that will be argued before the
Supreme Court on November 3, 2009.
The Supreme Court also will hear oral arguments on Wednesday, November
4, 2009, in its courtroom in the Earl Warren Building, Fourth Floor, 350
McAllister Street. Those arguments will not be televised, but they are
open to the public. The court’s calendar for both days is at
Editor’s Note: News media may request reserved seats through Lynn
Holton at firstname.lastname@example.org or Susan Gluss at
Pooling for TV and radio stations will be available near Booth
Auditorium on November 3, 2009.
There is no direct link to the webcast yet, but it will be available online at The California Channel as well as on your local cable tv provider. This is on the Cal Channel homepage: “Upcoming Events – November 3, 2009: California Supreme Court Special Public Outreach Session from Berkeley, California”