The Supreme Court decision making federal guidelines advisory rather than mandatory restores appropriate balance to the sentencing process. In the weeks following the decision, judges are still consulting the guidelines penalty structure but now have the ability to sentence at a level higher or lower than the guidelines based on individual circumstances.
Ashcroft's fear of overly lenient judges is curious because most federal judges have been appointed by Republican administrations. Rather than call for immediate congressional action on sentencing, it would be far wiser to analyze the impact of the new sentencing structure over time and only make modifications as necessary.
The Sentencing Project