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Season 2: Episode 1: A Discussion of Justice Ginsburg’s Influence on Overcriminalization

In Season 2, Episode 1 of Notorious, we explore Justice Ginsburg’s influence on overcriminalization in our justice system. Specifically, we discuss the broad statutes passed by Congress, the latitude afforded to prosecutors under these statutes, judicial interpretations of the law and the possibility that strict literalism in interpretation can lead to unintended results.

We analyze the cases of Cleveland v. United States, Skilling v. United States, Yates v. United States, as well as Justice Ginsburg’s dissent in Pasquantino v. United States. We conclude the episode discussing Justice Ginsburg’s doctrinal views with respect to overcriminalization and scrutinize the role Congress must play in amending such laws when vagueness and ambiguities in statutory language are laid bare. 

Patterson Belknap Partners Michelle Bufano, Lauren Schorr Potter, and Harry Sandick discuss Justice Ginsburg’s legacy on this issue.

Related Resources:

For a selection of Justice Ginsburg’s writings, see Decisions and Dissents of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:  A Selection, edited by Corey Brettschneider.

For more information about Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, see

For information about becoming a guest on Notorious, email Michelle Bufano.

For questions or more information about Notorious, email Jenni Dickson.

Also, check out the Patterson Belknap podcast, How to Build A Nation in 15 Weeks.