On November 10, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Luis v. U.S. Luis was indicated for Medicare fraud involving alleged kickbacks to patients who enrolled with Luis’ home healthcare companies. The government then brought a civil action to restrain Luis’ assets--including substitute property of an equivalent value to that actually traceable to the alleged fraud--before her criminal trial. Although Luis objected that she needed these assets to pay for defense counsel, the district court ruled in favor of the government and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit affirmed.
The question before the Supreme Court is whether the pretrial restraint of a criminal defendant's legitimate, untainted assets (those not traceable to a criminal offense) needed to retain counsel of choice violates the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.
To discuss the case, we have John Malcolm, who is Director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, and the Ed Gilbertson and Sherry Lindberg Gilbertson Senior Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation.