Alabama, Federal Government, Mark Sandler discussed on KCBS Radio Morning News
So an all news one zero six nine AM, seven forty KCBS. It's six twenty stand today. The supreme court will be hearing arguments in a potentially landmark case on state and federal double jeopardy. The case is stirring, speculation about the effect. It could have on President Trump's pardon power. For more. We're joined live on the KCBS ring central Newsline by our KCBS political analyst Mark allow Mark this has to do with a longtime idea known as dual sovereignty. Yes. So it's such an amendment of the constitution. And people know what it means to take the fifth to testify against yourself in court that the very first line of the fifth amendment says no person shall be subject to more than one punishment or one trial for the same offense. That's what most people regarded double jeopardy. So this goes back to a case where an Alabama man was pulled over for traffic. Stop the police smelled marijuana. They rated they searched the car they found two bags of weed based on the scale, and they found a gun. So they charge them for drug charges and gun charges. Drug England churches under state law in Alabama. They sentenced him to a year in prison the came along and said, well, you also violated a federal gun charge. And so we are also charging you with that. Federal prosecutors went after him in federal court and added four years to an sentence after convicting him. So the Alabama. Man said wait that's violation of double jeopardy. Can't try me twice for the same crime. But this goes back to that separate sovereigns doctrine, you alluded to season for the last hundred years the supreme court held that it's not so much the as long as two different sovereignties in this case, the state of Alabama and the federal government the United States, it's not regarded as the same crime one's a federal crime wanted to state crime. And there's no problem prosecuting twice. The reasons you say this fits into the molar investigation is as follows let's say that Muller decides to prosecute Paul Manafort and Donald Trump junior, and let's say that they go right on them or they failed to get convicted in federal court or much more possibly the president pardons. Both of them exonerating them from all federal crimes, which is his right to do that. States could come along Illinois New York wherever these guys were located time and say, but they also violated state law and could then charge them. So that's what presidential pardons have never been absolute in that if somebody murdered somebody the president can pardon them for any federal crime. They committed can never part of them for crime that they may have violated the supreme court upholds Alabama man's a point that this constitutes double jeopardy. What it means is that the president could indeed pardon somebody like Trump people in the molar investigation, and they would be off scot-free rather than face the possibility of the state's going after them as well this gets authority Mark because once upon a time there were state laws and federal laws, and they didn't cross all that much. But it's particularly with weapons and drugs. These are areas where congress has expanded federal laws. We get cases. Like this. And you know, depending on the perspective in the case people have very different reactions to this. So in case somebody pulled over traffic. Stop people might think know come on this is piling up. What is going on that sounds like double jeopardy? This was prominent billing the Rodney King case, you know, twenty years ago, the sparked riots in Los Angeles, this state charge. The officers beating Rodney King with violations of state law. They were quitted in the streets of LA broke out into riots. The federal government came along and said, okay, we are now charging officers with federal violations of civil rights laws and they were convicted. So sometimes it serves as a check on states that aren't doing what the federal government would consider each job. So yeah, it's and what's interesting about this. You have some justices Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas who were clearly on opposite ends of almost all the ideological spectrum who have both indicated that they want to review this and possibly to overturn the idea. That there's an exception to the double jeopardy law. So it's fascinating case before the supreme court, and we had a feeling that the whole Trump's lawyers will be watching this very closely. Mark Sandler KCBS political analyst live from Washington. KCBS.