Editor's Note :

Editor's Note :

In previous years, the Court released orders the morning after the Court’s “Long Conference.” It has not done so this year. Beginning last Term, the Court consistently considered petitions at least two times before granting certiorari. To the extent that practice continues -- and there is no affirmative evidence the Court intends to drop it -- so we are again doubtful that certiorari will be granted in any cases today.

Fowler v. United States

Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
10-5443 11th Cir. Mar 29, 2011
Tr.Aud.
May 26, 2011 7-2 Breyer OT 2010

Holding: To establish a violation of Section 1512(a)(1)(C), which makes it a crime to kill another person, with intent . . . to prevent the communication by any person to a [federal] law enforcement officer of information relating to the . . . possible commission of a Federal offense,the government must show that there was a reasonable likelihood that a relevant communication would have been made to a federal officer.

Plain English Holding: A federal statute makes it a crime to kill someone to try to prevent that person from passing on information regarding a federal crime to federal (although not to state) law enforcement officials. A defendant is guilty of violating this statute only if the government can show that there was a reasonable chance that the information would actually have been passed to a federal officer.

Judgment: vacated and remanded, 7-2, in an opinion by Justice Breyer on May 26, 2011. Justice Scalia concurred in the judgment. Justice Alito wrote a dissenting opinion, which Justice Ginsburg joined.

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