Hudson v. United States
- Case Date: 6/26/1997
- Project Name: Criminalization of Free Enterprise - Business Civil Liberties Program
On December 10, 1997, the Supreme Court upheld the government's right to impose multiple successive punishments against regulated businesses and individuals through the use of ostensibly civil proceedings. On June 26, 1997, WLF filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the Court to find that punitive civil fines imposed on businesses by regulatory agencies are limited by the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Constitution. WLF argued that when a government agency imposes a fine which is punitive in nature upon an individual or business, the fine constitutes a punishment within the meaning of the Double Jeopardy Clause. If the Court did not apply the Double Jeopardy Clause to such cases to preclude multiple government proceedings against the same business, WLF argued, a government agency could take "multiple bites at the punishment apple" and bring successive proceedings merely because it was dissatisfied with the sentence it obtained.