Thursday, November 08, 2012

Big win for AFPD Tracy Dreispul

Appellate guru Tracy Dresipul has done it again, this time in United States v. Bellaizac-Hurtado.

Judge Pryor starts off his opinion this way, which summarizes the issue and the holding nicely:

This appeal presents a novel issue about the scope of congressional power to
proscribe conduct abroad: whether the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act, 46
U.S.C. §§ 70503(a), 70506, exceeds the power of Congress to “define and
punish . . . Offences against the Law of Nations,” U.S. Const. Art. I, § 8, cl. 10, as
applied to the drug-trafficking activities of Yimmi Bellaizac-Hurtado, Pedro Felipe
Angulo-Rodallega, Albeiro Gonzalez-Valois, and Luis Carlos Riascos-Hurtado in
the territorial waters of Panama. Because we conclude that drug trafficking is not
an “Offence[] against the Law of Nations” and that Congress cannot
constitutionally proscribe the defendants’ conduct under the Offences Clause, we
vacate their convictions.


Anonymous said...

Tracy is big time! I hope she has a morning suit in her closet, 'cause you know SCOTUS is already writing memos on the issue in advance of oral argument.

Rumpole said...

What a great win. Nice job.

Anonymous said...

I miss the Carnes-esque intros.

Anonymous said...

A well-reasoned opinion that limits Federal legislative power. The 11th Circuit has taken a stand that the U.S. should not and cannot police the world. Tracy's insight in formulating this argument as an extension of other MDLEA cases was insightful.