Johnson, Finkin file amicus curiae with SCOTUS

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Professors Eric Johnson and Matthew Finkin have filed amicus curiae with the United States Supreme Court. 

Johnson’s brief was filed on behalf of nine states (Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, New Mexico, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Wyoming) in Burrage v. United States, which questions causal over-determination. Burrage was a heroin dealer who was prosecuted federally after one of his purchasers died from “mixed drug intoxication.” The question in the case is what sort of causal connection the government was required to prove between the heroin and the death. Johnson argues that any causal “contribution” is enough; the government isn’t required to show so-called “but for” causation.

Finkin’s brief was filed on behalf of the National Academy of Arbitrators in Unite Here Local 355 v. Martin Mulhall, which questions whether a company that agrees not to oppose a union’s efforts to organize the company’s workers thereby confers something of value on the union in violation of federal criminal statutes. Matt’s brief takes the position that it doesn’t. 

Both were “counsel of record” in each case and worked pro bono.