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Harmelin , as many know, was the Supreme Court's 1991 fractured decision that rejected an Eighth Amendment challenge to Michigan's imposition of a (1) mandatory (2) life without parole sentence for (3) mere possession of 672 grams of cocaine. I have numerically labeled the three potent essentials of Harmelin , because each part has worked in modern times to functionally preclude any successful constitutional challenges to just about (1) any mandatory sentencing statutes or (2) any life without parole sentences or (3) any drug possession sentences. (Thanks to the recent Graham and Miller rulings, some juvenile offenders have some (small) protection against some extreme sentences, but those Eighth Amendment rulings have not been of any help to older offenders.)

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a few months ago, in a terrific recent First Circuit opinion while denying rehearing en banc in United States v. Rivera-Ruperto , No. 12-2364 (1st Cir. Feb 27, 2018) ( available here ), Judge David Barron lamented how judges "have no choice but to approve mandatory 'forever' sentences ... so long as they can hypothesize a rational reason for the legislature to have thought that the underlying criminal conduct was as serious as the large quantity drug possession at issue in Harmelin ." In so doing, Judge Barron highlighted not only questionable elements of the Harmelin ruling, but also stressed the possible impact of "two lines of Supreme Court precedent that have developed since Harmelin was decided" (referring to Alleyne and Graham / Miller ). Though not quite calling for Harmelin to be overruled, Judge Barron, writing on behalf of the entire First Circuit, makes clear that he is urging SCOTUS to reconsider the "three-decades old, three-Justice concurrence in Harmelin ."

The author of the key "three-Justice concurrence in Harmelin " was, of course, Justice Anthony Kennedy, and no other member of the current Court was serving when Harmelin was decided. So, once Justice Kennedy's replacement is seated, it will be a whole new Court available to reconsider Harmelin without any existing member eager to make the case that Harmelin was right. Moreover, as the retired Justice Stevens noted in this interesting 2010 speech about Harmelin , pearl detail stiletto pumps Black Monique Lhuillier 9mUrcKF1
could be read as an indication he might be open to areturn to the more defendant-friendly Eighth Amendment approach as set forth in Solem . And, as noted in this prior post , the newestJustice, Neil Gorsuch, is seemingly more often voting in favor of federal criminal defendants in contested cases than against them. We know Justice Thomas does not like the Harmelin precedent, but that is because he does not think the Eighth Amendment limits the length of prison sentences at all. And Justice Alito seems unlikely to want to expand the reach of the Eighth Amendment (though I have long believed he nearly signed on to Chief Justice Roberts' Graham concurrence). We do not know who will be replacing Justice Kennedy, so we cannot yet make informed speculations about how he or she might vote on this issue. But if Prez Trump picks someone in the mold of Justice Gorsuch, that could mean yet another Justice with an open mind on these kinds of issues.

Our Flight Standards Branch

The Training Branch focused on upgrading Coast Guard Auxiliary aviation instructional programs (C-Schools) and on extending the reach of those programs while exercising sound fiscal stewardship. By design, the Training Branch emphasizes continuing education, and currency maintenance for our leaders, pilots, and other crewmembers.

The Training Branch

The Administration Branch is focused on aviation program management, aircraft maintenance requirements and support for District administrative tracking.

The Administration Branch

Within the Aviation Division, the Safety Branch places a high level of emphasis on safety. These experienced aviators, review mishap data and safety initiatives from both Coast Guard and civilian safety professional to provide the latest trends to safely enhance aviation operations. Working with the Training Branch, the Safety Branch provides instruction in areas such as human factors and crew resource management.

Safety Branch


The division is composed of four branches having responsibility for Coast Guard Support, Contingency Communications, Qualification and Training, and Program Integration .

Coast Guard Support, Contingency Communications, Qualification and Training, Program Integration

Auxiliary Communications Program is the umbrella under which assets may be strategically combined to meet the requirements of the Coast Guard, the Auxiliary District Commodores, and the recreational boating public. More than 8,500 Telecommunications Operator qualified members participate in the program.

In addition to many important VHF (short range) communications missions that support recreational boating safety, the ACP directly supports the active duty Coast Guard with its Auxiliary HF (long range) capabilities. HF radio facilities are engaged in the 24/7 Auxiliary Monitoring Mission . This program is a key mechanism that provides the ability to gauge the effectiveness and quality of U.S. Coast Guard’s broadcasts within the U.S. 200-mile territorial limit.

Auxiliary Monitoring Mission

Augmentation Communications supports the USCG Communications Command ,Sectors, and other Coast Guard commands that require additional coverage of HF/MF Digital Distress frequencies during storms, communications outages, and other disruptive events.

Augmentation Communications


The Education Division supports all Auxiliarists involved in Surface Operations, Telecommunications, and AUXAIR.

The Web Master Branch is responsible for developing and maintaining the Directorate web site including pages for the general public, all Auxiliarists and the more secured member sections which require password access to web pages and documents.

9555 Plainfield Road, Blue Ash, Ohio 45236 College Information: 513-745-5600 Email: questions@ucblueash.edu

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