In Adams v. United States ex rel. McCann (1942) 317 U.S. 269, a defendant charged with several counts of mail fraud elected to represent himself notwithstanding the court's strong advisement against such a course of action. Reinforcing the principle that a court may not compel an attorney upon an accused the appellate court affirmed the right of the defendant to exercise his informed judgment not to utilize counsel.
The court indicated not that a specific advisement must be given, rather, that the decision to waive counsel must be with "eyes open".
In Adams Express Co. v. Ohio, 165 U.S. 194 (1897), the United States Supreme Court noted:
As to railroad, telegraph and sleeping car companies, engaged in interstate commerce, it has often been held by this court that their property, in the several States through which their lines or business extended, might be valued as a unit for the purposes of taxation, taking into consideration the uses to which it was put and all the elements making up aggregate value, and that a proportion of the whole fairly and properly ascertained might be taxed by the particular State . . . .
The valuation was, thus, not confined to the wires, poles and instruments of the telegraph company . . . but included the proportionate part of the value resulting from the combination of the means by which the business was carried on, a value existing to an appreciable extent throughout the entire domain of operation.
(Adams Express, 165 U.S. at 220-21.)
In Abuelhawa v. United States, 556 U.S. 816 (2009), the issue was whether a defendant violated 21 U.S.C. § 843(b), the analogous federal counterpart to § 13-3417(A), by "making a misdemeanor drug purchase because his phone call to the dealer can be said to facilitate the felony of drug distribution." Abuelhawa, 556 U.S. at 818.
The Supreme Court refused to apply the plain meaning of the term "facilitate," which would have criminalized the defendant's conduct because his use of the telephone "'allowed the transaction to take place more efficiently.'" Id. at 819.
The Court noted that such an interpretation "sits uncomfortably with common usage." Id. at 820. It explained:
Where a transaction like a sale necessarily presupposes two parties with specific roles, it would be odd to speak of one party as facilitating the conduct of the other. A buyer does not just make a sale easier; he makes the sale possible. No buyer, no sale; the buyer's part is already implied by the term "sale," and the word "facilitate" adds nothing. We would not say that the borrower facilitates the bank loan. Id.
The Court further observed that "facilitate" generally refers to "the efforts of someone other than a primary or necessary actor in the commission of a substantive crime." Id.
The Court reversed the court of appeals, which had upheld the defendant's conviction based on the common meaning of "facilitate," and remanded for further proceedings. Abuelhawa, 556 U.S. at 819-21, 824.
In sum, the issue was whether a buyer's use of his cell phone to arrange drug purchases "facilitated" the seller's felony drug distribution, in violation of a federal statute criminalizing the use of communication devices in "facilitating the commission of . . . a felony." See Abuelhawa, 129 S. Ct. at 2104; 21 U.S.C. § 843(b).
A unanimous Supreme Court held that the buyer, whose two separate purchases of one gram were misdemeanors, could not be convicted of the "facilitation" felony under that theory. Abuelhawa, 129 S. Ct. at 2104.
The Abuelhawa Court rejected the Fourth Circuit's holding that the buyer's use of his cell phone to purchase cocaine qualified as facilitation "because it 'undoubtedly made the seller's cocaine distribution easier; in fact, 'it made the sale possible.'" Id. (quoting United States v. Abuelhawa, 523 F.3d 415, 421 (4th Cir. 2008)).
Although "on the literal plane, the phone calls could be described as 'facilitating' drug distribution," the Court concluded that "stopping there would ignore the rule that, because statutes are not read as a collection of isolated phrases, 'a word in a statute may or may not extend to the outer limits of its definitional possibilities.'" Id. at 2105 .
In Abuelhawa's case, the Court explained: "the Government's literal sweep of "facilitate" sits uncomfortably with common usage. Where a transaction like a sale necessarily presupposes two parties with specific roles, it would be odd to speak of one party as facilitating the conduct of the other. A buyer does not just make a sale easier; he makes the sale possible. No buyer, no sale; the buyer's part is already implied by the term "sale," and the word "facilitate" adds nothing. We would not say that the borrower facilitates the bank loan." Id.
The Court also pointed out that "the common usage that limits 'facilitate' to the efforts of someone other than a primary or necessary actor in the commission of a substantive crime has its parallel in" case law recognizing that "where a statute treats one side of a bilateral transaction more leniently, adding to the penalty of the party on that side for facilitating the action by the other would upend the calibration of punishment set by the legislature." Id. at 2106.
Explaining that Congress intended the meaning of the term "facilitate" to be "equivalent" to judicially interpreted "terms like 'aid,' 'abet,' and 'assist,'" id. at 2106, the Court reasoned that the Government's "broader reading of 'facilitate' would for practical purposes skew the congressional calibration of respective buyer-seller penalties," by ignoring that "Congress meant to treat purchasing drugs for personal use more leniently than the felony of distributing drugs, and to narrow the scope of the communications provision to cover only those who facilitate a drug felony." Id. at 2106-07.
In Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977), a decision issued a year after the effective date of Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA), the court considered Michigan statutory provisions essentially the same as the organizational security provisions of EERA and upheld the law only insofar as the fee charged was "used to finance expenditures by the Union for the purposes of collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment." ( Id., at p. 225.) The Court considered the constitutionality of subsidies levied by work-related associations and whether the subsidies were germane to the purposes of the associations.
In Abood, nonunion public school teachers challenged an agreement requiring them to pay a service fee equivalent to union dues. 431 U.S. at 211.
The objecting teachers claimed that the union's use of the fees to engage in political speech violated their freedom of association as guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Id. at 213.
The Supreme Court agreed. It held that requiring teachers to pay a service fee used "to contribute to political candidates and to express political views unrelated to its duties as exclusive bargaining representative" was unconstitutional. Id. at 234.
In Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Educ., 431 U.S. 209, 97 S. Ct. 1782, 52 L. Ed. 2d 261 (1977), the Court recognized that "a union may constitutionally spend funds for the expression of political views, on behalf of political candidates, or towards the advancement of other ideological causes not germane to its duties as collective bargaining representative." 431 U.S. at 235, 97 S. Ct. at 1800, 52 L. Ed. 2d at 284-85.
However, the Court held that "the Constitution requires . . . that such expenditures be financed from charges, dues, or assessments paid by employees who do not object to advancing those ideas and who are not coerced into doing so against their will." Id. at 235-36, 97 S. Ct. at 1800, 52 L. Ed. 2d at 285.
Despite holding that nonmembers of a union may not be compelled to contribute to expressive activities with which they disagree, the Court denied plaintiffs' application for a blanket injunction preventing the union from collecting dues used for political or ideological activities from any nonmember, thereby imposing the responsibility on each individual nonmember to communicate his or her objections to the union. Id. at 237-42, 97 S. Ct. at 1800-03, 52 L. Ed. 2d at 285-89.
In Abney v. United States, 431 U.S. 651 (1977), the Supreme Court held that an interlocutory order denying a motion to dismiss an indictment on double jeopardy grounds came under the "collateral order" exception to the final-judgment rule and, thus, was a "final decision" within the meaning of section 1291 of title 28 of the United States Code. (Abney, supra, 431 U.S. at p. 662.)
The Supreme Court found that the order denying the defendants' motion was a "fully consummated decision" (id. at p. 659); there were no further steps (other than moving for reconsideration) that could be taken in district court to avoid trial on double jeopardy ground; that the double jeopardy issue was collateral to and separable from the principal issue--whether defendant was guilty and that the rights conferred by the double jeopardy clause would be significantly undermined if the appeal were postponed. (The double jeopardy clause protects not only against being punished a second time but also "against being twice put to trial for the same offense.") (Abney, supra, 431 U.S. at p. 661.)
The court in Abney makes clear "there is no constitutional right to an appeal" and the right to an appeal in criminal cases "is purely a creature of statute." (Abney, supra, 431 U.S. at p. 656.) Abney involved the interpretation of a federal statute which provided for appeal from "final decision" (28 U.S.C. § 1291). The Supreme Court observed that the preferred procedural vehicle for review of a double jeopardy claim was a pretrial writ of habeas corpus because:
The rights conferred on a criminal accused by the Double Jeopardy Clause would be significantly undermined if appellate review of double jeopardy claims were postponed until after conviction and sentence.
To be sure, the Double Jeopardy Clause protects against being twice convicted for the same crime, and that aspect of the right can be fully vindicated on appeal following final judgment, as the Government suggests. However, the Court has long recognized that the Double Jeopardy Clause protects an individual against more than being subjected to double punishments.
It is a guarantee against being twice put to trial for the same offense. 431 U.S. at 660-61.
In Abbott Laboratories, Inc. v. Gardner, 387 U.S. 136 (1967), the Court found ripe for judicial review a pre-enforcement challenge to an FDA regulation requiring that labels and advertisements for prescription drugs include the corresponding generic name of a drug every time the proprietary (trade) name was used.
The Court found the issues presented were appropriate for judicial resolution, as the regulations were a "final agency action," the issue of statutory construction presented was a purely legal one, and no further administrative proceedings were contemplated. Id. at 149.
The Court also found the impact of the regulations was "sufficiently direct and immediate" to render the issue appropriate for judicial review. Id. at 152.