Jenner & Block

Associate Amir Ali to Argue Sentencing Case before the US Supreme Court

On March 30, 2016, Associate Amir H. Ali will argue before the US Supreme Court on behalf of Gregory Welch, who seeks to challenge the constitutionality of his 15-year sentence based upon the Court’s decision last term in Johnson v. United States.  In Johnson, the Court struck down the “residual clause” of the Armed Career Criminal Act—a catchall provision that courts had relied upon for approximately 30 years to increase a defendant’s sentence from a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment to a minimum of 15 years’ imprisonment.  In Welch v. United States, the firm argues that the Court’s holding in Johnson must be applied retroactively to persons like Mr. Welch, whose conviction and sentence became final before Johnson was decided.  The case should resolve a significant split among the circuits, under which prisoners in some states have been resentenced or released under Johnson, while prisoners in other states have been denied relief from their unconstitutionally imposed sentences.  The firm is representing Mr. Welch on a pro bono basis.

Mr. Ali and Partner Lindsay C. Harrison were interviewed about the case in an article in Above the Law titled “A Biglaw Associate’s Supreme Court Debut.” 

In addition to Mr. Ali and Ms. Harrison, the team also includes Partner Matthew E. Price; Associates R. Trent McCotter, Joshua M. Parker and Benjamin M. Eidelson; Law Clerk Adrienne Benson; Senior Paralegal Cheryl Olson; Docketing Assistant Tyler Edwards; and Legal Secretaries Beth Gulden and Curlene Wellington.