Robin Vander Wall
Whether or not the brief is something to be proud about remains to be seen and is dependent upon the outcome of the case. What is important to understand is that amici briefs are coordinated by the attorney who represents the case in chief. Amici parties are very seldom in a position to dictate the contents of their briefs because it’s the attorney who files the brief who is ultimately accountable for its contents. In this instance, the alternative “y” is merely a means of demonstrating to the court that there are other ways in which states have “marked” IDs without stamping “sex offender” across the faces of permit/license holders. Some would (and do) argue that attorneys have a duty to point out such alternatives if they exist. That merely serves to satisfy the Court that you recognize the existence of less invasive options. That DOES NOT mean that the amici party PREFERS the option. Legal briefs are not rhetorical platforms and federal benches are not suitable audiences for engaging in street-level advocacy.
The amici brief was handled by the Wake Forest University School of Law’s Appellate Advocacy Clinic which also drafted the brief filed on behalf of ATSA, NARSOL, and NCRSOL for the Packingham case.