January 14, 2009
Northwestern's Supreme Court Clinic Victory in Chambers v. United States
Congratulations go out to Northwestern Law School on yesterday's important Supreme Court ruling:
On January 13, 2009, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of a Northwestern University Supreme Court Clinic Case, Chambers v. United States, wherein the question presented was whether failing to report to jail was tantamount to an escape and, thus, a violent felony for purposes of the Armed Career Criminal Act sentencing enhancements. In the unanimous decision the Supreme Court reversed the Seventh Circuit, cleared up a 10 to 2 circuit split on this issue, and rejected the government's position that an "aversion to penal custody" should always be treated as if it were an escape.
Under the supervision of Clinical Professor Sarah Schrup, students in Northwestern’s Supreme Court Clinic participated in this case from the beginning. Some of the Clinic’s very first students in the 2006-2007 school year worked on the cert petition and then students in later classes assisted with the merits briefing. The Supreme Court Clinic also held a moot last fall for Rob Hochman, the Sidley partner and Clinic guest instructor who argued the case.
Congratulations to the faculty and students in the Supreme Court Clinic for their significant contributions to this case!
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