Professor Jed Shugerman provided comment for a Politico piece on a Supreme Court ruling that upholds the legal principle known as dual sovereignty and will preserve states’ power to limit the impact of future pardons by President Donald Trump or his successors.
Lawyers for an Alabama man facing a gun charge in federal court after pleading guilty to the same offense in state court — resulting in a nearly three-year extension of his prison sentence — failed in their effort to persuade the justices to hold that the Constitution’s prohibition on double jeopardy prevents such follow-on prosecutions.
The federal government had argued that overturning the dual-sovereignty doctrine would upend the country’s federalist system, and that the phenomenon of overcriminalization makes states’ ability to preserve their own sphere of influence and prevent federal encroachment on law enforcement more important.
Fordham University law professor Jed Shugerman told POLITICO that the Gamble decision will have “no real impact on Trump cases.” Manafort is still facing state prosecutions in New York and Virginia, which have their own jeopardy rules, he noted. And former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s guilty plea to one count of making false statements to the FBI was limited to federal law, Shugerman said. The same appears true of Roger Stone’s prosecution on false statement and witness tampering charges, he added.
“Trump and others aren’t getting prosecuted federally anyway before 2021, so they haven’t faced a single jeopardy yet,” Shugerman said. “A pardon wouldn’t create jeopardy, so they’d still face state prosecutions post-pardons.”
For additional media coverage and quotes from Jed Shugerman on this topic:
Thomas Fires ‘Opening Salvo’ For SCOTUS To Overturn Own Precedents
Supreme Court Won’t Stop States From Prosecuting Federal Defendants