The case of a Florida fisherman convicted under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for destroying potential evidence – in this case red grouper – had the potential for comedy when the Supreme Court heard arguments today. To that end, I did my part. I regularly do a banner sketch for SCOTUSblog in the morning when I arrive at the Court, usually of the line on the plaza outside or of lawyers waiting to be admitted to the bar. This morning I tried something a little different.
Anyway, hope you like it. Below are a couple sketches from the argument. And here is a link to Lyle Denniston’s account of how it went – not so good for the government, I’m afraid.
The case is Yates v. U.S.
Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling’s Supreme Court appeal made two arguments: that the honest-services law is too vague, and that jury selection was too cursory. Most of the hour of arguments was spent on the questioning of the potential jurors.
In his brief rebuttal at the conclusion of arguments Skilling’s lawyer, Sri Srinivasan compared the five hours spent questioning the jury pool to “the Martha Stewart case, for example . . . there were six days of voir dire, . . . And in that case, the only reason you needed an extended voir dire was because of the celebrity status of the defendant. You didn’t have the deep-seated community passion and prejudice that characterized the Houston venue in this case.”