WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 30, 2007) — Last week, McDermott Will & Emery attorney M. Miller Baker, a trial partner in the Firm's Washington, D.C. office, appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court twice.
On Tuesday, April 24, 2007, Mr. Baker argued on behalf of Petitioner Jeffrey Beck, liquidating trustee of the Crown Vantage entities in Beck v. PACE International Union. Assistant to the Solicitor General Matthew Roberts argued for the United States in support of Beck. The issue in the case is whether Crown Vantage had a fiduciary duty under ERISA to consider a union's proposal to merge the company's pension plan into the union's pension plan after the company made a decision to terminate its pension plan. Also present at counsel table was McDermott employee benefits partner David Rogers. Assisting on the briefing and preparation were Bill Boies (Chicago) Michael Graham (Chicago), Michael Nadel (Washington, D.C.), Jeff Mikoni (Washington, D.C.), Joanna Enstice (Washington, D.C.) and Jeremy Medovoy (Washington, D.C.).
On Wednesday, April 25, 2007, Mr. Baker appeared at counsel table in Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, representing appellee Wisconsin Right to Life (WRTL). Also present at WRTL's counsel table was Kathleen Sullivan, former dean of the Stanford Law School, and Richard Coleson of Bopp, Coleson, and Bostrom. Prominent First Amendment lawyer James Bopp, Jr., of Bopp, Coleson, and Bostrom argued on behalf of WRTL. The issue in the case is whether the McCain-Feingold law's ban on corporate and labor union funded broadcast advertisements that merely mention a candidate's name within 60 days of an election violates the First Amendment. A wide array of groups across the political spectrum, including the ACLU, the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, filed amicus briefs in support of WRTL. The central issue at argument was whether the Court should overturn its McConnell v. FEC decision, which upheld the relevant provision of the McCain-Feingold law from a facial challenge. Washington, D.C. partner Michael Nadel and Washington, D.C. associate Jeff Mikoni assisted on the briefing.