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Amicus Briefs

Lovato v. U.S.

NCLA filed an amicus brief in U.S. v. Daniel Lovato, urging the federal court to re-examine the circuit’s treatment of “Stinson Deference.” The case presented an opportunity for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to join a chorus of circuits correcting an erroneous and unconstitutional application of judicial deference.

The 1993 Supreme Court decision, Stinson v. United States, commands federal judges to abandon their duty of independent judgment in violation of Article III and the judicial oath, and to assign weight to a non-judicial entity’s interpretation of the law when imposing criminal sentences. It also raises serious due-process and separation-of-powers concerns when it causes courts to mandate judicial bias against a defendant, instead of lenity toward him.

On December 22, 2020, NCLA filed a second amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to grant Mr. Lovato’s petition.

Mark Chenoweth
President and Chief Legal Officer

Amicus Curiae Brief of Due Process Institute & the New Civil Liberties Alliance in Support of Petitioner

December 22, 2020 | Read More

Brief of the New Civil Liberties Alliance as Amicus Curiae in Support of Appellant’s Petition for Rehearing En Banc

April 22, 2020 | Read More


Two NCLA Amicus Briefs in Third and Tenth Circuits Challenge Judicial Deference to U.S. Sentencing Commission’s Guidelines Commentary

April 22, 2020 | Read More



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