Archive | First Amendment

Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Three Interesting Cert. Petitions

Our friends at recently discussed three pending cert. petitions that present important and interesting criminal issues. Because these issues may arise in your practice, I note them again here so that you can preserve them for review:

  1. Shaw v. United States, No. 22-118.

Issues:  (1) Whether the jury clauses of Article III and the Sixth Amendment or the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment bar a court from imposing a more severe criminal sentence on the basis of conduct that a jury necessarily rejected, given its verdicts of acquittal on other counts at the same trial; (2) whether the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Watts should be overruled; and (3) whether, in avoidance of the constitutional question, the rules of issue preclusion, as applied in federal criminal cases, bar imposition of an aggravated sentence on a factual predicate necessarily rejected by the jury at trial …

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Categories: Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, Sixth Amendment

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Monday, November 13th, 2017

This Week’s Cert. Grants

The Supreme Court has recently granted certiorari in three First Amendment cases relevant to criminal practice:

Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, Florida, No. 17-21
Question presented: Does the existence of probable cause defeat a First Amendment retaliatory-arrest claim as a matter of law?

Cert. papers and opinion below available here:

Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, Florida

Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, No. 16-1435
Question Presented: Is Minnesota Statute Section 211B.11, which broadly bans all political apparel at the polling place, facially overbroad under the First Amendment?

Cert. papers and opinion below available here:

Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky

National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, No. 16-1140
Question Presented: Whether the Free Speech Clause or the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment prohibits California from compelling licensed pro-life centers to post information on how to obtain a state-funded abortion and from compelling …

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Categories: First Amendment, Fourth Amendment

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Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Caveat Loquens

United States v. Stewart, No. 10-3185 (2d Cir. June 28, 2012) (Winter, Calabresi, Sack, CJJ)

This opinion appears to shut the door on the long-running series of appeals in the Lynne Stewart case. Stewart was convicted after trial of conspiracy to defraud the United States, providing material support to the killing or kidnapping of persons in a foreign country and making false statements. Underlying these convictions were her efforts to smuggle messages to and from her client, Sheikh Omar Ahman Ali Abdel Rahman, who was then serving a terrorism-related life sentence. 

Stewart was originally sentenced to 28 months’ imprisonment. The government appealed, and the circuit vacated the sentence with instructions to the district court to: determine whether Stewart had committed perjury in her trial testimony;  consider applying the abuse-of-trust enhancement; clarify whether it had applied the terrorism enhancement (having found that it “plainly” applied in Stewart’s case) and; and “further …

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Categories: First Amendment, Uncategorized

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