Sujit Choudhry Examines the Consequences of Overturning the Separate Sovereigns Exception

Sujit Choudhry Examines the Consequences of Overturning the Separate Sovereigns Exception

Sujit Choudhry, Constitutional Advisor at International IDEA, has undertaken to study the highly-debated elevation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to United States Supreme Court. This has raised questions about his impact on Roe v. Wade and the legitimacy of serving a subpoenae to a sitting President. As well, he could be the swing vote ending the “Separate Sovereigns Exception” to Double Jeopardy in an evenly split liberal/conservative court and could mean significant consequences for associates of President Trump under criminal investigation.

Double Jeopardy, based on the FIfth Amendment, means someone cannot be tried twice for the same crime. However the exception allows for separate sovereigns, such as state and federal government, to each conduct trials for a crime that violates both state and federal law.

A President can issue a pardon for a federal crime, but not for a a state crime, as the Fifth Amendment doesn’t apply there.

Sujit Choudhry points to the significance of Gamble v. United States, where Gamble, a felon charged for possession, has based a petition on a previous suggestion by Justice Ginsburg, in Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle, that a reexamination of the Separate Sovereigns Doctrine should be made in the future.

Sujit Choudhry points out, Sanchez, a similar gun-possession case, took place under different circumstances. In contrast, under current political circumstances, such as a call by Senator Orin Hatch to overturn the doctrine, the outcome of Gamble could be different. And whether Hatch’s call was prompted by the investigation of Trump’s associates or not, overturning the Separate Sovereigns Doctrine could allow the President greater power to pardon, which could serve to obstruct the Mueller investigation.

Consequently, Sujit Choudhry believes the outcome of Gamble and whether Justice Kavanaugh’s vote decides will both be subjects of particular importance.

Read more here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vocvUJ-QLjA