Extraordinary Outpouring of Amici Support Amy in the United States Supreme Court

Today, twenty-one national and international advocacy organizations, the Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Violence Against Children, the attorneys general of thirty-four states and one territory, and a bi-partisan group of seven United States Senators, filed amicus curiae briefs in the United States Supreme Court supporting Amy in her five-year battle to secure federal criminal restitution for victims of child pornography.

Here are the amici, briefs, and lawyers which contributed to this extraordinary effort to support Amy’s case in the United States Supreme Court:


Brief for United States Senators Orrin G. Hatch, Dianne Feinstein, Charles E. Grassley, Edward J. Markey, John McCain, Patty Murray, and Charles E. Schumer as Amici Curiae in Support of Amy Unknown

Filed by Counsel of Record Neal Kumar Katyal, Jessica L. Ellsworth and Amanda K. Rice of Hogan Lovells US LLP

The bi-partisan group of Senators explains that they were all in Congress in 1994 and supported the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). They intended for VAWA to provide full compensation to victims of child pornography, as the Fifth Circuit below concluded.

Brief for the States of Washington, Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, and the Territory of United States Virgin Islands as Amici Curiae in Support of Respondent Amy Unknown

Filed by Counsel of Record Anne E. Egeler, State of Washington Deputy Solicitor General on behalf of:

Robert W. Ferguson
Attorney General
State of Washington
Luther Strange
Attorney General
State of Alabama
Michael C. Geraghty
Attorney General
State of Alaska
John W. Suthers
Attorney General
State of Colorado
Joseph R. Biden, III
Attorney General
State of Delaware
Pamela Jo Bondi
Attorney General
State of Florida
Sam Olens
Attorney General
State of Georgia
David M. Louie
Attorney General
State of Hawaii
Lawrence G. Wasden
Attorney General
State of Idaho
Lisa Madigan
Attorney General
State of Illinois
Gregory F. Zoeller
Attorney General
State of Indiana
Tom Miller
Attorney General
State of Iowa
Derek Schmidt
Attorney General
State of Kansas
Jack Conway
Attorney General
State of Kentucky
Martha Coakley
Attorney General
State of Massachusetts
Bill Schuette
Attorney General
State of Michigan
Lori Swanson
Attorney General
State of Minnesota
Jim Hood
Attorney General
State of Mississippi
Chris Koster
Attorney General
State of Missouri
Timothy C. Fox
Attorney General
State of Montana
Jon Bruning
Attorney General
State of Nebraska
Catherine Cortez Masto
Attorney General
State of Nevada
Gary K. King
Attorney General
State of New Mexico
Wayne Stenehjem
Attorney General
State of North Dakota
Michael DeWine
Attorney General
State of Ohio
E. Scott Pruitt
Attorney General
State of Oklahoma
Ellen F. Rosenblum
Attorney General
State of Oregon
Alan Wilson
Attorney General
State of South Carolina
Marty J. Jackley
Attorney General
State of South Dakota
John Swallow
Attorney General
State of Utah
William Sorrell
Attorney General
State of Vermont
Vincent F. Frazer
Attorney General
U.S. Virgin Islands
Patrick Morrisey
Attorney General
State of West Virginia
J.B. Van Hollen
Attorney General
State of Wisconsin
Peter K. Michael
Attorney General
State of Wyoming
 
Thirty-four state’s attorneys general argue that the use of the internet to transmit child pornography nationwide requires not only a dedicated state response, but also a robust federal framework. Allowing full recovery for child pornography victims is a logical means of addressing the unique problem of providing restitution for each victim who was harmed by the actions of defendants acting independently, in different locations across the country.

Brief for Amici Curiae the National District Attorneys Association in Support of Respondent Amy

Filed by Counsel of Record Sasha N. Rutizer of the National District Attorneys Association, National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse

Child “pornography” is actually crime scene evidence of the sexual abuse of children. Advancing technology has created a vast marketplace for the perpetration of sexual exploitation of children who should receive full restitution for their losses from anyone involved in that marketplace.

Brief Amicus Curiae of the Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Violence Against Children in Support of Respondent Amy Unknown

Filed by Counsel of Record W. Warren H. Binford, Paul J. De Muniz of Willamette University College of Law, Child and Family Advocacy Clinic

The Rapporteur is an independent official of the Dutch government who is responsible for working to prevent human trafficking and sexual violence against children in the Netherlands. The Rapporteur explains that the United States is a party to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography which obligates the United States to ensure that child pornography victims have adequate procedures to seek damages from those who victimize them.

Brief of ECPAT International as Amicus Curiae in Support of Respondents

Filed by Counsel of Record Daniel C. Moon, Fernando L. Aenlle-Rocha, Lauren C. Fujiu, Tania N. Khan, and Aya Kobori of White & Case LLP

ECPAT (a global network of organizations dedicated to ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children) explains that advancements in information technology have led to an unprecedented expansion of the child pornography marketplace. Victims of child pornography require extensive and expensive psychological counseling and should be able to obtain full restitution.

Brief for The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as Amicus Curiae in Support of Respondent Amy Unknown

Filed by Counsel of Record Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, Stephen Rosenman, Cara Gardner, and Lisa Guo of Ropes & Gray LLP

Yiota Souras, Margaret Klein, and Preston Findlay of The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

The problem of child pornography has exploded in recent years as the Internet allows great dissemination of child sexual abuse images. For example, Amy’s child sex abuse images have proliferated so that more than 70,000 images of her have been identified by NCMEC in state and federal criminal cases. Amy’s images have proliferated worldwide and have been discovered by law enforcement authorities in Denmark, Germany, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Child pornography victims suffer indivisible injuries and should be able to collect all of their losses from any one defendant.

Amicus Brief of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children in Support of Respondent Amy Unknown

Filed by Counsel of Record Marci A. Hamilton

For the victim, sexual abuse—its memorialization, distribution, and viewing—are all psychologically intertwined with and compound the impact of the initial abuse. Child pornography victims typically experience long-term harm and need lifelong psychological care.

Brief of Amici Curiae The Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project, Legal Momentum, The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Professor Margaret Drew, Professor Leigh Goodmark, and Professor Margaret Garvin Supporting Respondent Amy Unknown

Filed by Counsel of Record Margaret Garvin of Alison Wilkinson

The child pornography restitution provisions (Section 2259) parallel the domestic violence restitution provisions (Section 2264). The Court should not narrowly construe Section 2259 since this will also harm victims of domestic violence who rely on Section 2264 to obtain full compensation for their losses.

Brief for the National Crime Victim Law Institute, Arizona Voice for Crime Victims, Child Justice, Inc., Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center, Inc., National Center for Victims of Crime, and National Organization for Victim Assistance as Amici Curiae Supporting Respondent Amy Unknown

Filed by Counsel of Record Paul R.Q. Wolfson, Shirley Cassin Woodward, Daniel P. Kearney, Jr., and Rachel Murphy of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

The nation’s leading crime victims organizations explain that Section 2259 is designed to provide broad compensation to crime victims. The law as currently enacted properly holds intentional wrongdoers—convicted child pornography criminals—jointly and severally liable for all the losses caused to child pornography victims.

Brief of Amici Curiae National Crime Victim Bar Association, Arizona Association for Justice, Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association, Florida Justice Association, and Oregon Trial Lawyers Association in Support of Respondent Amy Unknown

Filed by Counsel of Record Erin K. Olson of the Law Office of Erin Olson, P.C.

Rebecca J. Roe of Schroeter of Goldmark & Bender

Antonio R. Sarabia II of IP Business Law, Inc.

While restitution was previously viewed as punishment, it is now properly viewed as a right to compensation belonging to crime victims. Child pornography criminals operate as part of a de facto joint enterprise that harms victims and accordingly each criminal is jointly and severally liable for all a victim’s losses.

Brief of Amici Curiae Women’s and Children’s Advocacy Project and Justice for Children in Support of Respondents

Filed by Counsel of Record Wendy J. Murphy of the Women’s and Children’s Advocacy Project, Center for Law and Social Policy, New England Law Boston

Restitution for child pornography victims is appropriate regardless of individualized proof of proximate causation because all possessors of child pornography cause harm to all victims by creating and fueling the demand for the production of child pornography. Restitution should be assessed under a joint and several liability approach because the crime causes indivisible injuries.

Brief of “Vicky” and “Andy” as Amici Curiae in Support of Respondent Amy Unknown

Filed by Counsel of Record Stuart Banner of UCLA Supreme Court Clinic

Heidi Nestel of Utah Crime Victims Legal Clinic

Carol Hepburn

Two child pornography victims explain that broadly interpreting Section 2259 does not violate the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment. Restitution is not punishment covered by the Eighth Amendment, but rather compensation for crime victims.

Brief of Amicus Curiae Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Support of Respondents

Filed by Counsel of Record Steven J. Kelly, Andrew G. Slutkin of Silverman Thompson Slutkin & White, LLC

Restitution is about compensating victims, not punishing offenders. Accordingly, restitution orders cannot constitute excessive “fines” under the Eight Amendment because payment goes not to the government, but to the victim.

Brief of Amicus Curiae the National Association to Protect Children Supporting Respondents

Filed by Counsel of Record Russell E. McGuire of the National Association to Protect Children

Possessors and distributors of child pornography fuel the demand for the production of child pornography by requesting the rape of children. Law enforcement agencies have difficulty stopping the spread of child sex abuse images in the global market.

Here is Amy’s Supreme Court Brief on the Merits

Thank you everyone for your tremendous contribution to this important case!

The oral argument in this case will be held on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 10:00 AM at the United States Supreme Court in Washington, DC.

Here is a link to the Google Drive containing all the documents in this case.


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