Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers as Amici Curiae in Support of Petitioner John Yates.
Argument: Petitioner's conviction under Sarbanes-Oxley exemplifies overcriminalization through an unconstitutional expansion of the law. Executive expansion of 18 U.S.C. § 1519 to include red grouper furthers the overcriminalization epidemic. Red grouper are not “tangible objects” under Sarbanes-Oxley. Even if Sarbanes-Oxley applies to fish, Yates’ conduct did not impede, obstruct, or influence a federal investigation. Overcriminalization places a growing burden on the administration of justice, often resulting in ludicrous federal convictions for conduct that, traditional, falls outside constitutionally anticipated federal purview.
Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petition for a Writ of Certiorari.
Argument: Petitioner's conviction under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1519 and 2232 through his conduct aboard the Miss Katie exemplifies overcriminalization stemming from an unconstitutional executive expansion of the law. As a matter of law, the Petitioner could not have been adjudicated guilty under 18 U.S.C. § 1519 (2012) as the application of an anti-shredding statute to three rotten fish is an unconstitutional expansion of the law and a violation of statutory construction. Executive expansion of 18 U.S.C. § 1519 to include red grouper furthers the overcriminalization epidemic. Additionally, the lower courts committed reversible error when they effectively shifted the burden of proof from the government to the Petitioner on the issue of whether the fish were undersized. No reasonable jury could have convicted the Petitioner under § 2232 because the government failed to meet its burden of proof.