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The court’s willingness to take up the case appears to be part of a trend among the justices to address instances of potentially over-aggressive prosecution. Last term, they took up a case brought against a woman who tried to poison her husband’s mistress. The government prosecuted her under an international treaty on chemical warfare. The court ruled unanimously in Bond v. United States that the government had no need to use the treaty when myriad other criminal laws would have sufficed (Greenwire, June 2).
Notably, groups on both sides of the political spectrum have filed friend-of-the-court briefs backing Yates in the case. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, and American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers have weighed in. The government accountability nonprofit Cause of Action has also filed an amicus brief.