Brief of National Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in Support Of Respondent.
Argument: Depriving the defendant of the right to decide whether to plead guilty unconstitutionally undermines his autonomy interest. The decision to plead guilty is entrusted to the defendant alone and thus implicates his fundamental autonomy interest. The requirement that a guilty plea be knowing and voluntary safeguards the defendant’s autonomy interest. The failure to inform the defendant of each element of the offense to which he is pleading guilty requires vacatur of the plea. Permitting the court to impose punishment based on hypothetical guilty pleas would be a dangerous constitutional innovation. Given that the Framers’ vision of a system of jury trials has already been displaced by pleas, the Court should not accept anything less than informed and voluntary pleas.
Brief of Amici Curiae National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Ninth Circuit Federal Public and Community Defenders, and Professor Erwin Chemerinsky in Support of Petition for a Writ of Certiorari.
Argument: The Court should grant the writ to clarify the appropriate standard for a sua sponte harmless error analysis. To safeguard the Sixth Amendment jury trial right, harmless error review must be carefully limited. The Court of Appeals' harmless error analysis ignored tis Court's limits and violated petitioner's Sixth Amendment jury trial right. The Court of Appeals' deeply flawed conclusion demonstrates the dangers of sua sponte harmless error review. The Ninth Circuit's affirmance of warrantless surveillance under § 702 contravenes this Court's jurisprudence and, left uncorrected, will eliminate vast swaths of core Fourth Amendment protection. The reach of the Fourth Amendment exception adopted by the Ninth Circuit is too great to survive constitutional scrutiny and conflicts with this Court's precedent. The Court of Appeals erroneously expanded the third-party doctrine. Review should be granted because § 702 implicates linked constitutional concerns involving the Fourth Amendment, First Amendment, and separation of powers. This is the correct—and perhaps only—vehicle to resolve these constitutional questions.