Order List

April 5, 2004 Supreme Court Update

Greetings Court fans!
The Court issued an order list today granting cert in two cases:
1. Pasquantino v. United States (03-725): This case is about the operation of the federal wire fraud statute (18 USC 1343) in the context of an allegedly fraudulent scheme to avoid the payment of taxes owed to a foreign sovereign, in this case, Canada. The specific question presented is as follows: Does Section 1343 authorize criminal prosecution of alleged fraudulent scheme to avoid payment of taxes potentially owed to foreign sovereign, given lack of any clear statement by Congress to override common law revenue rule, interests of both legislative and executive branches in guiding foreign affairs, and this Court's prior rulings concerning limited scope of the term "property" as used in the statute? (The common law "revenue rule" provides that courts should refrain from passing on the validity and operation of revenue rules of foreign countries.)
2. Illinois v. Caballes (03-923): This looks like an interesting Fourth Amendment case brought by the State of Illinois: Does the Fourth Amendment require reasonable, articulable suspicion to justify using a drug-detection dog to sniff a vehicle during a legitimate traffic stop?
One final note, a correction from the last Update. It seems that some of you actually read my summary of the Pittman Act case, Bedroc Limited v. United States, and those who did noticed my error: In that case, it was Breyer, and not Scalia, who joined Thomas' opinion. (An especially embarrassing mistake because a friend and former colleague wrote the DOJ brief in that case. Sorry, Ann!) You have to give me a break on this one, though. What are the chances that Breyer would join a Thomas opinion?
That's all until April 19. Until then, thanks for reading.
From the Appellate Practice Group at Wiggin and Dana.
For more information, contact Sandy Glover, Aaron Bayer, or Jeff Babbin
at 203-498-4400, or visit our website at www.wiggin.com.