U.S. Supreme Court

Case Status


Docket Number


2021 Term


Questions Presented

Whether a physician alleged to have prescribed controlled substances outside the usual course of professional practice may be convicted of unlawful distribution under 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) without regard to whether, in good faith, he “reasonably believed” or “subjectively intended” that his prescriptions fall within that course of professional practice.

Case Updates


June 27, 2022

Supreme Court upholds the presumption that Congress intends to require a criminal defendant to possess a culpable mental state and concludes that the Controlled Substances Act’s “knowingly or intentionally” mens rea requirement applies to all elements of the offense and also to other statutory terms that separate wrongful from innocent acts. The U.S. Chamber filed an amicus brief, in support of neither party, supporting this holding.

U.S. Chamber files merits-stage amicus brief in support of neither party

December 27, 2021

The U.S. Chamber filed an amicus brief in support of neither party that asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reaffirm the presumption that a showing of mens rea on the elements of an offense that distinguish lawful from unlawful conduct is a necessary prerequisite for felony punishment for regulatory offenses. Michael R. Dreeben, Daniel Lautzenheiser, Nina Oat, and Bruce Pettig of O'Melveny & Myers LLP and the U.S. Chamber’s Litigation Center served as co-counsel for the U.S. Chamber.

Case Documents