Connect with us


US Supreme Court skeptical of use of obstruction law in January 6 cases | US Supreme Court

US Supreme Court skeptical of use of obstruction law in January 6 cases |  US Supreme Court


The U.S. Supreme Court expressed concern Tuesday that prosecutors are using an obstruction law to charge hundreds of defendants in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, with the justices favoring a position that could jeopardize these prosecutions and the criminal case against Donald Trump.

The Trump case was not mentioned during the argument. But a ruling restricting the use of obstruction law in the Capitol attack could eliminate two of the four charges against the former president.

The case, which on its face involves Joseph Fischer, charged in the Jan. 6 riots, took on sudden prominence last year after Trump was also charged with obstructing an official proceeding for his efforts to prevent Congress to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The question is whether the obstruction law passed under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002 in the wake of the Enron scandal could be used to prosecute general obstruction cases, or whether it was intended to be used more closely for tampering with evidence or destroying documents.

If the Supreme Court rules that Section 1512(c) of Title 18 of the U.S. Penal Code is used too broadly, it could cripple part of the case against Trump, as special counsel Jack Smith seeks to draw a line at trial with the elder. President's January 6 speech on violence.

And if the court decides to strike down the use of the obstruction statute, it could weaken other conspiracy laws used in the indictment against Trump.

U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, arguing for the Justice Department, found herself repeatedly pressed on these points by Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas and John Roberts, the chief justice .

When Congress passed the obstruction law, it was done in a two-part provision. The first part makes it an offense to alter, destroy or conceal evidence to frustrate official proceedings. The second part, at issue in the Fischer case, makes it a crime to obstruct official proceedings.

Prelogar's argument held that it was otherwise a catch-all for obstructive conduct that Congress might not have envisioned when drafting the law. Prelogar's view was that the theme of the law prohibited obstruction.

Fischer's lawyer, Jeffrey Green, argued that this was too broad: otherwise should be defined as engaging in conduct similar to that expressed in the first part of the law regarding obstructing an investigation or tampering with evidence carried out in a different manner.

Alito and Gorsuch seemed deeply skeptical of the Justice Department's position. They repeatedly suggested that Prelogar's reading of the law was too broad, peppering it with assumptions.

Would delaying an official proceeding be considered obstruction? How significant must the delay be to be considered an obstruction? » asked Gorsuch. Alito added that the statute mentioned obstruction but also mentioned obstruction of proceedings, which he said was less serious than obstruction.

Prelogar, on the defensive, was eventually forced to respond that peaceful protests would constitute a technical violation of the law, although the Justice Department was unlikely to prosecute minor unrest, in contrast to the events of January 6.

But that prompted Alito to wonder how Prelogar would define minor disruptions. Would it be a minor disruption if people heckled a court hearing, delaying the hearing and causing lawyers to lose their train of thought? The definition of Prelogars would encompass anything and everything in between, Alito suggested.

ignore previous newsletter promotion

Sign up for Trump on trial

Stay informed on all Donald Trump trials. Guardian staff will send weekly updates every Wednesday as well as bonus editions on major trial days.

Privacy Notice: Newsletters may contain information about charities, online advertisements and content funded by third parties. For more information, see our Privacy Policy. We use Google reCaptcha to protect our website and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Thomas also seemed concerned about the history of enforcement of the obstruction law. Prelogar took the opportunity to point out that the Justice Department has already prosecuted cases involving interference with a grand jury investigation and interference with proceedings in federal court.

But in rebuttal, Fischer's lawyer suggested that his examples supported his position because both were related to the use of evidence in the proceedings.

The Justice Department's position received additional criticism from Chief Justice Roberts, who noted that the Supreme Court had in the past avoided resorting to broad statutes under the doctrine known as name of ejusdem generis.

Roberts suggested he might credit a lower court ruling that the first part of the law limited the second part of the law: if the first part was about tampering with evidence in an investigation, the second part follows by making otherwise refers to other means of falsification. with evidence.

The skepticism of conservative-leaning justices on the Supreme Court was not shared by Sonia Sotomayor, the justice who seemed strongly to view otherwise language as a reference to obstructive conduct.

Sotomayor separately raised his own suggestion of rules against photographing or otherwise disrupting a theatrical performance. If a defendant was heckling and disrupting the performance, no one would be surprised if he or she was expelled, Sotomayor suggested to Fischer's lawyer.




The mention sources can contact us to remove/changing this article

What Are The Main Benefits Of Comparing Car Insurance Quotes Online

LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / June 24, 2020, / Compare-autoinsurance.Org has launched a new blog post that presents the main benefits of comparing multiple car insurance quotes. For more info and free online quotes, please visit https://compare-autoinsurance.Org/the-advantages-of-comparing-prices-with-car-insurance-quotes-online/ The modern society has numerous technological advantages. One important advantage is the speed at which information is sent and received. With the help of the internet, the shopping habits of many persons have drastically changed. The car insurance industry hasn't remained untouched by these changes. On the internet, drivers can compare insurance prices and find out which sellers have the best offers. View photos The advantages of comparing online car insurance quotes are the following: Online quotes can be obtained from anywhere and at any time. Unlike physical insurance agencies, websites don't have a specific schedule and they are available at any time. Drivers that have busy working schedules, can compare quotes from anywhere and at any time, even at midnight. Multiple choices. Almost all insurance providers, no matter if they are well-known brands or just local insurers, have an online presence. Online quotes will allow policyholders the chance to discover multiple insurance companies and check their prices. Drivers are no longer required to get quotes from just a few known insurance companies. Also, local and regional insurers can provide lower insurance rates for the same services. Accurate insurance estimates. Online quotes can only be accurate if the customers provide accurate and real info about their car models and driving history. Lying about past driving incidents can make the price estimates to be lower, but when dealing with an insurance company lying to them is useless. Usually, insurance companies will do research about a potential customer before granting him coverage. Online quotes can be sorted easily. Although drivers are recommended to not choose a policy just based on its price, drivers can easily sort quotes by insurance price. Using brokerage websites will allow drivers to get quotes from multiple insurers, thus making the comparison faster and easier. For additional info, money-saving tips, and free car insurance quotes, visit https://compare-autoinsurance.Org/ Compare-autoinsurance.Org is an online provider of life, home, health, and auto insurance quotes. This website is unique because it does not simply stick to one kind of insurance provider, but brings the clients the best deals from many different online insurance carriers. In this way, clients have access to offers from multiple carriers all in one place: this website. On this site, customers have access to quotes for insurance plans from various agencies, such as local or nationwide agencies, brand names insurance companies, etc. "Online quotes can easily help drivers obtain better car insurance deals. All they have to do is to complete an online form with accurate and real info, then compare prices", said Russell Rabichev, Marketing Director of Internet Marketing Company. CONTACT: Company Name: Internet Marketing CompanyPerson for contact Name: Gurgu CPhone Number: (818) 359-3898Email: [email protected]: https://compare-autoinsurance.Org/ SOURCE: Compare-autoinsurance.Org View source version on accesswire.Com:https://www.Accesswire.Com/595055/What-Are-The-Main-Benefits-Of-Comparing-Car-Insurance-Quotes-Online View photos


to request, modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]