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2:04, 14 February 2018

20 Organizations File Amicus Briefs in Support of Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht

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Twenty organizations signed onto amicus briefs in support of Silk Road operator Ross Ulbricht’s petition to have his case reviewed by the US Supreme (may mean or refer to) Court.

On Feb. 5, five (5 a number, numeral, and glyph. 5, five or number 5 may also refer to: AD 5, the fifth year of the AD era 5 BC, the fifth year before the AD era) amicus curiae briefs (or briefs may refer to: Documents: A letter A Briefing note Papal brief, a papal letter less formal than a bull, sealed with the pope’s signet ring or stamped with the device borne on this ring) were filed regarding Ulbricht v. United States, which alleges that the government violated Ulbricht (is a surname)’s Fourth and Sixth Amendment rights during its investigation and sentencing of his case.

Each of these five “friend-of-the-court” briefs was filed in support of Ulbricht, who is currently serving a life sentence for a variety of crimes related to his administration of the infamous darknet marketplace Silk (is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles) Road (road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two places that has been paved or otherwise improved to allow travel by foot or some form of conveyance, including a motor vehicle, cart,) and petitioned the Supreme Court to take up his case after an appellate court (court is a tribunal, often as a government institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and) rejected his appeal last year.

In his petition (petition is a request to do something, most commonly addressed to a government official or public entity), Ulbricht has asked the Supreme Court to rule whether the government (government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, often a state) can seize an individual’s internet traffic without a warrant or probable cause, as investigators did to unmask him as Silk Road operator “Dread Pirate Roberts”, which he claims was a violation of his Fourth Amendment right to be protected from unreasonable searches.

The petition also argues that his trial judge violated his Sixth Amendment right by justifying an otherwise unreasonable sentence with information not introduced as evidence during the trial, namely that investigators believed he had attempted to pay a hitman to commit five murders — allegations which were uncharged and unproven.

The briefs — which present information related to the case but may or may not factor into the Court’s decision — attracted a combined 20 amici (was the United Kingdom’s second-largest trade union, and the largest private sector union, formed by the merger of Manufacturing Science and Finance and the AEEU (Amalgamated Engineering and) curiae from across the political spectrum, with filers ranging from the progressive-leaning National Lawyers Guild to the libertarian Reason Foundation and even the conservative Gun Owners of America.

As CCN reported, legal expert and SCOTUSblog founder Tom Goldstein named Ulbricht v. United States his petition of the day on Jan. 23, a designation which indicates that he believes the case addresses constitutional questions that “have a reasonable chance of being granted in an appropriate case (or CASE may refer to)” but does not necessarily mean that the specific case is an “appropriate vehicle” for the Court to decide the question.

Feb. 5 had originally been the deadline for the government to respond to Ulbricht’s petition, but the Court granted Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco’s request to extend that deadline until March 7. No amicus briefs have (or having may refer to: the concept of ownership any concept of possession; see Possession (disambiguation) an English “verb” used: to denote linguistic possession in a broad sense as an auxiliary) been filed in support of the government’s position.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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