United States v. Apel

Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in support of Respondent.

Brief filed: 10/28/2013


United States v. Apel

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 12-1038

Prior Decision

Decision below 676 F.3d 1202 (9th Cir. 2012).


The government’s interpretation of 18 U.S.C. §1382 would render the statute unconstitutionally overbroad. A statute is facially overbroad when there is a realistic danger that it will significantly compromise speech rights. The government’s new interpretation of Section 1382 would (i) extend existing military regulations onto public roads, thereby infringing on a substantial amount of protected speech in a public forum and (ii) authorize base commanders to promulgate new military regulations that could further restrict protected speech on public roads. The government’s interpretation of 18 U.S.C. §1382 encourages arbitrary enforcement by the government, even against civilians who lack notice of how the law is applied. The government’s interpretation of 18 U.S.C. §1382 should be rejected under the rule of lenity.

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Michael V. Schafler, Albert Chang, and Puneet V. Kakkar, Caldwell Leslie & Proctor PC, Los Angeles, CA; Jeffrey Fisher, Stanford, CA.