Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of appellant.
Argument: United States v. Harris, 959 F.2d 246 (D.C. Cir. 1992) is no longer good law in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. O’Brien, 130 S.Ct. 2169 (2010), which held that the “machinegun” provision of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(B)(ii) is not a “sentencing enhancement” but an element of the offense of “using or carrying” a machinegun in connection with a crime of violence; although Sec. 924 is silent as to whether knowledge that the firearm is capable of fully-automatic fire is a prerequisite for conviction under the statute, the court must presume mens rea is required where a statutory provision triggers a 30-year mandatory minimum sentence
Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioner.
Argument: This case presents a critically important and recurring question of FCA scienter that warrants this Court's immediate review. The Fifth Circuit's FCA scienter ruling conflicts with decisions from other circuits and departs from numerous other relevant authorities. The Fifth Circuit's finding that an employee's knowledge of a scheme was sufficient to prove scienter conflicts with established precedent. The Fifth Circuit's FCA scienter ruling is wrong and conflicts with the FCA's text and structure.