Prof. Bennett Gershman published an op-ed piece, “Silencing amicus curiae” in The National Law Journal regarding a U.S. attorney’s bizarre request to prevent the filing of “friend of the court” briefs in a highly publicized and controversial case in the U.S. Court of Appeals. The case involves the prosecution of Sholom Rubashkin, chief executive of a kosher meat processing plant in Postville, Iowa, who was convicted for bank fraud.
Prof. Gershman writes: “The government’s attempt to block the amici was wholly inconsistent with the norm of U.S. appellate litigation, which almost always welcomes amici participation. With one significant exception, amici must obtain consent from the parties to file a brief, and when consent is denied to obtain leave of the court. Courts freely grant leave when a party refuses to consent, and the U.S. Supreme Court grants leave in virtually all cases. Only the United States is authorized to file an amicus brief without needing consent of the parties or leave of the court.”
Read the entire piece here.