Homer Nods Again — IQ Statistics Edition – UPDATED

May 30, 2014

Mistakes in Supreme Court opinions (and their subsequent revision) have been getting quite a bit of attention of late.  Have court-watchers found another? It seems that way.  As the WSJ law blog reports, statistics experts say that Justice Alito erred in his discussion of the standard error of measurement (SEM) in IQ tests in his Hall v. Florida dissent.  In Hall the Court ruled 5-4 that Florida’s rigid threshold for intellectual disability claims in capital punishment cases was unconstitutional.  Under existing precedent, it is unconstitutional to execute an individual who is intellectually disabled.

UPDATE: At NRO’s Bench Memos, Ed Whelan suggests Alito’s critics may be misreading his opinion or confusing a legal dispute with a factual error.

Jonathan H. Adler teaches courses in constitutional, administrative, and environmental law at the Case Western University School of Law, where he is the inaugural Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Business Law and Regulation.
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