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Sovereignty

Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 8-18-16 featuring Lance Sorenson
Lance Sorenson August 18, 2016

On June 9, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle. Sanchez Valle was charged by Puerto Rico prosecutors with the illegal sale of weapons and ammunition without a license in violation of Puerto Rico law. While that charge was pending, he was indicted by a federal grand jury for the same offense, based on the same facts, under federal law. He pled guilty to the federal indictment but sought dismissal of the Puerto Rico charges on Double Jeopardy grounds, arguing that Puerto Rico is not a separate sovereign. The Supreme Court of Puerto Rico agreed but the Commonwealth appealed. The question before the U.S. Supreme Court was whether the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the federal government are separate sovereigns for purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause of the United States Constitution.

By a vote of 6-2, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico. Justice Kagan delivered the opinion of the Court, which held that the Double Jeopardy Clause bars Puerto Rico and the United States from successively prosecuting a single person for the same conduct under equivalent criminal laws. The majority opinion was joined by the Chief Justice and Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, and Alito. Justice Ginsburg filed a concurring opinion, in which Justice Thomas joined. Justice Thomas filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment. Justice Breyer filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Sotomayor joined.

To discuss the case, we have Lance Sorenson, who is the Olin-Searle Fellow in Constitutional Law at Stanford University.

I Declare Bankruptcy?: Puerto Rico v. Franklin California Tax-Free Trust Decided - Podcast

Corporations, Securities & Antitrust Practice Group Podcast
G. Marcus Cole, David Skeel June 14, 2016

On June 13 the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Puerto Rico v. Franklin California Tax-Free Trust, finding that Chapter 9 of the federal Bankruptcy code preempts Puerto Rico’s Recovery Act. The decision prevents Puerto Rico from adopting a settlement plan for its debt through its own legislation and requires it to depend on Congress for a solution. Our experts discussed the opinion and its implications.

Featuring:

  • Prof. G. Marcus Cole, William F. Baxter-Visa International Professor of Law, Stanford Law School
  • Prof. David Skeel, S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School

Campbell-Ewald Company v. Gomez - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 3-11-16 featuring Mark Chenoweth
Mark Chenoweth March 11, 2016

On January 20, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Campbell-Ewald Company v. Gomez. This case concerns a complaint by Jose Gomez that Campbell-Ewald Company, a marketing consultant for the U.S. Navy, allowed a third-party vendor to send him unsolicited text messages in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The case presents two questions for the Supreme Court: (1) whether a case becomes moot when a plaintiff receives an offer of complete relief on his claim, including in a class action, and (2) whether the doctrine of derivative sovereign immunity for government contractors is limited to claims arising out of property damage caused by public works projects. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit had held that Gomez’s individual and class claims were not mooted, and that Campbell-Ewald was not entitled to derivative sovereign immunity.

By a vote of 6-3, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Ninth Circuit, holding that (1) an unaccepted settlement offer or offer of judgment does not moot a plaintiff's case, so the district court retains jurisdiction to adjudicate the plaintiff’s complaint, and (2) a federal contractor is not entitled to immunity from suit for its violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act when it violates both federal law and the government's explicit instructions. Justice Ginsburg delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined. Justice Thomas filed an opinion concurring in the judgement. Chief Justice Roberts filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Scalia and Alito joined. Justice Alito also filed a dissenting opinion.

To discuss the case, we have Mark Chenoweth, who is General Counsel at Washington Legal Foundation.

Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle - Post-Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 2-12-16 featuring Scott Broyles
D. Scott Broyles February 12, 2016

On January 13, 2016, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle. Sanchez Valle was charged by Puerto Rico prosecutors with the illegal sale of weapons and ammunition without a license in violation of Puerto Rico law.  While that charge was pending, he was indicted by a federal grand jury for the same offense, based on the same facts, under federal law. He pled guilty to the federal indictment but sought dismissal of the Puerto Rico charges on Double Jeopardy grounds, arguing that Puerto Rico is not a separate sovereign. The Supreme Court of Puerto Rico agreed but the Commonwealth appealed.

The question now before the U.S. Supreme Court is whether the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the federal government are separate sovereigns for purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause of the United States Constitution.

To discuss the case, we have Scott Broyles, who is Professor at Charlotte School of Law.

Campbell-Ewald Company v. Gomez - Post-Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 11-11-15 featuring Mark Chenoweth
Mark Chenoweth November 11, 2015

On October 14, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Campbell-Ewald Company v. Gomez.

This case concerns a complaint by Jose Gomez that Campbell-Ewald Company, a marketing consultant for the U.S. Navy, allowed a third-party vendor to send him unsolicited text messages in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. 

Three questions are before the Court. The first is whether a case becomes moot when a plaintiff receives an offer of complete relief on his claim, and the second is whether the answer to that changes if the plaintiff is attempting to bring a class action. The third question is whether the doctrine of derivative sovereign immunity for government contractors is limited to claims arising out of property damage caused by public works projects.

To discuss the case, we have Mark Chenoweth, who is General Counsel at Washington Legal Foundation.