The Constitution Project was involved with several amicus briefs in Smith v. Texas, a capital case involving mitigating evidence and jury instructions.
In October 2006, the Constitution Project filed an amicus brief urging the Court to hear the case and ensure that Texas complies, asserting that the Texas courts disregarded the Supreme Court’s explicit directions in an earlier decision in the case. The Constitution Project also assisted in the preparation of a second amicus brief at the cert stage of the case. That brief, written by the eminent constitutional scholar and Duke Law professor Erwin Chemerinsky, was filed on behalf of former federal judges John Gibbons, Timothy Lewis, Abner Mikva, and William Norris. Judges Gibbons and Mikva are members of the Constitution Project’s Death Penalty Initiative, Judge Lewis co-chairs the Project’s Right to Counsel Initiative, and Judge Norris is a member of the Project’s Courts Initiative.
In November 2006, the Constitution Project filed an amicus brief in the merits stage. The Constitution Project is pleased to be represented in this matter by former Solicitor General of the United States Seth Waxman and the law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr.
We are pleased that on April 25, 2007, the US Supreme Court issued its decision in favor of the position urged by the Constitution Project. To view the decision please click here.