The Champion

May 2016 , Page 10 

Search the Champion Looking for something specific?

Preview of Member Only Content

For full access: login or Become a Member Join Now

NACDL News: U.S. Supreme Court Affirms Sixth Amendment Right to Defense Counsel of One’s Choice

By Ivan J. Dominguez and Ezra Dunkle-Polier

Read more NACDL News columns.

In a widely awaited decision concerning the right to counsel and the government’s pretrial seizure of a defendant’s assets, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on March 30, 2016, that a defendant has a Sixth Amendment right to use her own “innocent” property to pay a reasonable fee for the assistance of counsel. The issue arose in Luis v. United States (14-419) when a grand jury charged Sila Luis with paying kickbacks and engaging in other crimes related to health care.

In an opinion by Justice Breyer, joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor, the Court found that “the pretrial restraint of legitimate, untainted assets needed to retain counsel of choice violates the Sixth Amendment.” The plurality explained that the constitutional line they have drawn — distinguishing between tainted funds and innocent funds needed to pay for counsel — should prove workable. “We concede, as Justice Kennedy points out … that money is fungible; and sometimes it will

Want to read more?

The Champion archive is reserved for NACDL members.

NACDL members, please login to read the rest of this article.
login

Not a member? Join now.
Join Now
Or click here to see an overview of NACDL Member benefits.

See what NACDL members say about us.

To read the current issue of The Champion in its entirety, click here.

  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
  • Academic Requests: Full articles of The Champion Magazine are available for academic and research purposes in the WestLaw and LexisNexis databases.

In This Section

Advertisement Advertise with Us
ad