Supreme Court December sitting commences today (11/27) and is just chock full of goodies

Issue: Whether the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment prohibits a second prosecution for a crime of which a defendant was previously acquitted.

This is a very interesting double jeopardy case. From the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari:

In 2017, Damian McElrath was tried, under Georgia law, for the crimes of malice murder, aggravated assault, and felony murder for attacking and killing Diane McElrath. Following trial, the jury rendered a split verdict. It found McElrath not guilty of malice murder by reason of insanity and guilty but mentally ill of felony murder and aggravated assault. See Pet. App. 14a-15a. McElrath appealed, claiming that the verdicts were “repugnant” under Georgia law and that the conviction must be reversed or vacated. Id. Georgia law distinguishes between merely inconsistent verdicts and repugnant verdicts. According to the Georgia Supreme Court, “inconsistent verdicts” involve “seemingly incompatible” conclusions. Id. at 22a-25a. The “classic example,” it said, is where the jury acquits a defendant on a predicate offense but then convicts on the compound offense. Id. at 22a. The Georgia Supreme Court has held that inconsistent verdicts should stand. Id. at 22a-25a. By contrast, under Georgia law, repugnant verdicts occur when the jury must “make affirmative findings shown on the record that cannot logically or legally exist at the same time.” Id. at 22a. In that circumstance, the verdicts are “a logical and legal impossibility” and both verdicts must be vacated and remanded for a new trial. Id. at 29a.

In McElrath’s case, the Georgia Supreme Court held that the guilty but mentally ill and not guilty by reason of insanity verdicts are repugnant because “it is not legally possible for an individual to simultaneously be insane and not insane during a single criminal episode against a single victim.” Id. Thus, the Georgia Supreme Court vacated both the conviction and the acquittal and remanded for a new trial on both charges. Id.

The problem here is the Georgia Supreme Court’s decision to remand for a new trial on both charges. It’s decision to vacate both verdicts as repugnant was correct. The decision to vacate the guilty verdict was correct. It should have upheld the acquittal, as acquittals are considered sacrosanct, even if delivered in the middle of a contradiction. But then it should have remanded with instructions to dismiss the case with prejudice. Once an acquittal is rendered, even in a repugnant manner such as occurred, it triggers the bar against retrial.

The Supreme Court should rule in favor of the Defendant/Petitioner.

Issues: (1) Whether statutory provisions that empower the Securities and Exchange Commission to initiate and adjudicate administrative enforcement proceedings seeking civil penalties violate the Seventh Amendment; (2) whether statutory provisions that authorize the SEC to choose to enforce the securities laws through an agency adjudication instead of filing a district court action violate the nondelegation doctrine; and (3) whether Congress violated Article II by granting for-cause removal protection to administrative law judges in agencies whose heads enjoy for-cause removal protection.

The Supreme Court should unambiguously rule in favor of Respondent Jarkesy. Allowing an Executive Agency to act as Prosecutor/Judge/Jury/Executioner in cases where the potential for billions of dollars to be at stake is literally insane. The SEC’s administrative law courts should be abolished and they should be required to litigate ONLY in the Article III Courts, with a jury trial available to any defendant that wants one.

Issue: Whether the Bankruptcy Code authorizes a court to approve, as part of a plan of reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, a release that extinguishes claims held by nondebtors against nondebtor third parties, without the claimants’ consent.

Note: This is the Sackler case.

The Supreme Court should rule in favor of Petitioner Harrington. The Bankruptcy Court overstepped its bounds in the rather sweet deal it provided the Sackler’s. Creditors should be able to pursue the Sackler’s directly and they should be subject to the same treatment anybody else would get in Bankruptcy Court.

Issue: Whether the 16th Amendment authorizes Congress to tax unrealized sums without apportionment among the states.

The Supreme Court should rule unambiguously and broadly for Petitioner Moore. The Supreme Court has the chance to create an absolute bar against any future attempt at a Federal Wealth Tax and they should take it.

Also a minor chance that we may get a decision in one of the cases argued during the October sitting.

McElrath v Georgia was argued today.

There is a distinct possibility that this could be a 9 to 0 win for McElrath. Even Justice Thomas, notoriously unsympathetic to defendants, could not buy the bull ■■■■ the Georgia DA and Georgia Supreme Court was trying to sell.

Clearly McElrath will prevail, whether 9 to 0 or not. The case will be remanded with the acquittal standing and the remainder of the case dismissed with prejudice. McElrath will be committed to a psychiatric hospital for the help he desperately needs.

Securities and Exchange Commission v Jarkesy was argued today.

Most likely, the Supreme Court will rule in favor of Respondent Jarkesy.

I think the Supreme Court should limit its decision to question 1 of the Petition, the Seventh Amendment. It can decide this case without addressing the non-delegation doctrine or the unitary executive doctrine (questions 2 & 3).

The Supreme Court should rule for Jarkesy, on the grounds that the use of in house administrative law courts deny Jarkesy his seventh amendment right to a jury trial. Again, the current proceedings make the SEC prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner all in one. A blatantly unfair and abusive system. These cases belong in the Article III Courts and before a jury should the defendant want one.

Cato Institute’s brief in SEC v Jarkesy.

It is interesting that they limit their analysis to question 1 (seventh amendment) only. A signal that they believe this case should be decided on question 1 only.

Harrington v Purdue Pharma was argued yesterday (12/4). All that can be discerned from oral arguments are that the Justices are deeply conflicted on this case and differences of opinion cross partisan lines.

I expect this case will not be decided until almost the end of the term of June and only hell knows what convoluted opinion they will come up with.

As for today (12/5) we have the long awaited Moore v United States.

The Cato Institute makes a concise argument as to why a ruling for the Petitioner’s is the correct outcome and why a ruling for the Petitioner’s will NOT effect any other existing United States tax.

The MRT amounts to a wealth tax, not income tax and therefore is a direct tax, illegal unless apportioned among the several States.

Also, a ruling for Petitioners will have the happy side effect of forever closing the door to enactment of a wealth tax.