Professor Joel Johnson Referenced in "Psychologist, Professor Urge High Court to Construe Identity Theft Statute Narrowly" -- Mealey's Litigation Report
Professor Joel S. Johnson's Supreme Court amicus brief argument in Dubin v. United States is summarized in the Mealey's Litigation Report: Insurance Fraud article, "Psychologist, Professor Urge High Court to Construe Identity Theft Statute Narrowly."
Excerpt from "Psychologist, Professor Urge High Court to Construe Identity Theft Statute Narrowly"
Johnson cites his interest as amicus curiae as "the sound construction of federal statutes." He calls the Fifth Circuit's construction of Section 1028A "overly broad and indeterminate." Johnson encourages the Supreme Court to avoid "unconstitutional vagueness."
The professor differentiates vagueness avoidance and constitutional avoidance. The latter concerns "tools of interpretation triggered by ambiguity" that arise "when a term can be fairly understood to have two or more discrete semantic meanings." By contrast, Johnson says that vagueness "refers to indeterminate language that is open to practically innumerable possible applications and cannot be resolved through mere interpretation."
To avoid vagueness, Johnson states that a court must craft "a narrow construction of the text that encompasses an identifiable core while exercising its indeterminate peripheries." Vagueness avoidance "promotes the separation of powers, the principle of legality, and the modern methodological commitment to implementing the legislative will," the amicus argues.
The complete article may be found at Mealey's Litigation Report: Insurance Fraud