Lynch directs Attorneys to File Supplemental Exhibit S
April 14, 2016; In a different medical marijuana case the Federal Government dismissed it's case against Lynette Mont-eton Shaw based on her Section 538 Arguments. Lynch's Federal Public Defenders made the following statement via Email:
Shaw's case has not set a precedent as that term is used in the law. A precedent is a case that controls the outcome of other cases. Judge Breyer's decision only controls Shaw's case. But it is a helpful decision that others (including Lynch) can try to use to persuade other courts (like the Ninth Circuit) to rule the same way. Judge Breyer is a well-respected judge who's opinion others may value (and who sometimes even sits on the Ninth Circuit); that would contribute to the level of persuasion the order may have. And the fact that the case is not being reviewed on appeal also can add to the persuasiveness. But no other court is required to follow, or even consider, the Shaw decision in any other case. In fact, if Judge Breyer wanted to rule the opposite way in another case, he would be free to do so.
Shaw rightly should be happy with what has transpired in her case. And the case sets a precedent in the generic, non-legal, sense that it is the first decision of its kind and an example of how a court could rule that way. It is a positive development in the overall scheme of things. But nobody should be viewing the government's decision not to appeal Judge Breyer's order as a concession on the government's part as to the correctness of the decision or as somehow suggesting it won't fight a similar argument with all its might if raised in another case such as yours(Lynch's case).
Jonathon Libby Federal Public Defender