Morse and Bonnie delivered their amicus letter in Kahler v. Kansas on June 6. Read it here. Goldberg considers the writing of Amicus Briefs to be a professional and moral obligation. “The goal of the deposit is to achieve a fairer society,” she says. Amicus memoirs on burning social issues such as immigration, abortion, marriage equality, and health care are often written intentionally to attract media attention and influence public opinion, which can affect the thinking of a court. However, most appeal cases and the Supreme Court focus on narrow and mysterious areas of law, and so the majority of Amicus briefs do not make headlines because they are too esoteric for non-lawyers to understand. In the Supreme Court case, Kahler v. Kansas, the petitioner is trying to overturn the Kansas Supreme Court`s decision that allows the abolition of the state`s senseless defense. Professor Stephen J. Morse of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and Richard J.

of the University of Virginia Bonnie School of Law, commissioned by professors of criminal law and mental health law, co-authored an amicus letter stating that the defense is legally and morally necessary and should be constitutionally required. 290 professors of criminal law and mental health signed the brief. Some academics question the scientific value of writing Amicus memoirs. Bermann and his colleagues, however, consider such criticisms to be erroneous. “I absolutely think it`s a form of science,” he says. “While the exercise is very case-specific, it crystallizes what are invariably issues of broader interest and resonates with the science and teaching we conduct. I don`t mind entering the trenches at all. This fall, she and seven other religious freedom law experts filed two complaints in which the federal government is suing members of the No More Deaths/No Más Muertes group — a ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Tucson — for allegedly “sheltering” migrants by leaving them food and water in a state-controlled wildlife area. to support either side. The group says their religion`s respect for the sanctity of human life compels its members to help anyone – including migrants – who finds themselves in a dire situation. “We note in the letter that in this case, the Justice Department has taken a position that protects religious freedom much less than in cases that are more in line with the government`s political agenda,” Franke said. The case is expected to go to court in early 2019.

This was an important step for the United States. Supreme Court in 2017-2018: In each of the 63 cases pleaded, amicus curiae pleadings were filed, an average of just over 14 pleadings per case, a new record. These “friends of the court” briefs – written by jurists, pro bono lawyers, government lawyers and lawyers from across the political and ideological spectrum who are not involved in this case – have become a pillar of contemporary jurisprudence: Supreme Court filings have increased by 800% since 1954 and by 95% between 1995 and 2015, a seemingly unstoppable phenomenon. which is called “The Amicus Machine” by two virginia law professors. Bermann, for example, asserts that the letter he received in Republic of sudan v. Harrison, who was heard by the Supreme Court on November 7, is of modest public interest. The case, he explains, involves the interpretation of a law that determines when and how foreign governments can be prosecuted in U.S. courts under an exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. “This may seem like a technical problem at first glance, but a moment of reflection tells us that U.S. foreign relations themselves are involved,” he says. In the past six months, Goldberg has filed two briefs in federal court opposing the Trump administration`s ban on serving in the military. In her briefing for Jane Doe 2 v.

Donald J. Trump, Goldberg focused on the shortcomings of then-Defense Secretary James Mattis` February 2018 memorandum that provided the government`s basic justification for the ban. “My goal was to show that the report is based on very traditional and long-rejected gender stereotypes,” she says. The overall impact of amicus briefs on court decisions is impossible to calculate, but the frequency with which judges refer to them in pleadings and written statements is an indicator of their effectiveness: According to an annual Supreme Court report amici moored by arnold & Porter`s attorneys Anthony Franze and Reeves Anderson in the National Law Journal The judges cited Amicus Briefs during the 2017-2018 term with 23 majorities, 21 dissenting opinions and five concurring opinions. In Immigration Sessions v. Morales-Santana from 2017, Goldberg worked with sociologists on a social science assignment to dispel the premise of a provision in the Immigration and Citizenship Act that treated mothers and fathers differently. “There were only one or two legal citations in it. The main thing was to show the court that single fathers don`t usually disappear from their children`s lives because the implication of the law we challenged is that they do,” she says. Ginsburg invoked the letter in a statement reflecting this gender discrimination, noting that “unmarried fathers take responsibility for their already large and significantly growing children.” Goldberg adds, “Sometimes the purpose of an amicus letter is to refute a common hypothesis. In other cases, the goal is to help a court see a problem on a larger scale. “The Court`s jurisprudence on abortion is completely detached from the text, history and tradition of the Constitution,” Snead and Glendon note in their letter. “It has been imposing on the nation for several decades an extreme, incoherent, impracticable and undemocratic legal regime for abortion (according to ever-changing rules, norms and justifications),” and therefore the principles of the decision of the gaze justify ignoring these precedents.

They also argue: “The Court`s jurisprudence on abortion has grafted onto the Constitution a vision of what it means to be and thrive as a human being, isolating mother and child, pitting them against each other in a narrative of zero-sum conflicts between foreigners, depriving them of sources of protection, much-needed support and care. Morse explains, “First, a form of defense against insanity is so ingrained in our legal history and tradition that it is a fundamental element of justice that defendants should have the right to a defense, and it is morally the right thing to do. They should not condemn people who were not morally responsible agents at the time of the crime because they did not know right from wrong. Second, a senseless defence should be required unless another form of [treatment] of the effects of mental disorder on criminal behaviour creates equal justice,” and there is no satisfactory alternative. Third, “Given the historical and moral importance of the defense, and given the fact that there is no viable alternative, the critique of the senseless defense is far too substantial to justify abolition. Columbia Law`s faculty influences court decisions and promotes legal theory when it submits “friends of the court” briefs to the Supreme Court and other jurisdictions. “I think of amicus memoirs as surgical blows,” says Suzanne Goldberg, Herbert and Doris Wechsler Professor of Clinical Law, who co-directs the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at the Faculty of Law and directs the Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic. She writes briefs to supplement the arguments of senior counsel or to broaden her position.

“I want to make a very clear point using case law or other sources that the court doesn`t have yet.” “After the text and history of the Constitution, it is no secret that Roe is not only wrong, but also gravely wrong. Roe was categorically criticized as false on the day of his decision, he has since been vigorously opposed both inside and outside the court, and no sitting judge has defended the merits of his real reasoning,” Garnett and his co-authors explain in their letter.