Published on: Monday, June 17, 2019

Today, in Gamble v. United States, No. 17-646 (June 17, 2019), in a seven to two opinion, the Supreme Court declined to overturn a longstanding interpretation of the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment known as the dual-sovereignty doctrine.  Under this doctrine, "a State may prosecute a defendant under state law even if the Federal Government has prosecuted him for the same conduct under a federal statute,” and vice versa. 

Here, Mr. Gamble was convicted by Alabama for possessing a firearm by a felon.  He was then prosecuted in federal court for a being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of federal law.  The Supreme Court rejected Mr. Gamble’s double jeopardy challenge to his federal prosecution and reaffirmed its dual sovereignty doctrine. 

Justice Alito delivered the opinion of the Court, joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Thomas, Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan and Kavanaugh.  Justice Thomas filed a concurring opinion.  Justices Ginsburg and Gorsuch filed dissenting opinions.

Merits briefing is available on the Supreme Court’s website here. The Training Division provides sentencing resources to help you argue for the best possible sentence for your client.