On November 29, 2021 the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Vilasini Ganesh, MD. The brief reads in part:
In this prosecution over a private billing dispute, unrelated to any federal programs such as Medicare or Medicaid or the quality of any medical care, solicitude for a defendant’s constitutional right to counsel should not be too much to ask. Few constitutional rights are as important and fundamental as one’s right to counsel in a criminal prosecution, and if this matter had been handled as civil litigation that right would not have been infringed. The integrity of the process and the validity of judicial outcomes depend heavily on respect for the right to counsel. Yet in the name of calendar efficiency the Ninth Circuit steamrolled that right without a meaningful inquiry. The unjust result was more than 5 years imprisonment over a mere private billing disagreement, based on a conviction obtained against a defendant after denial of her request to be represented by the counsel of her choice.
The constitutional right to counsel should not be eviscerated. Petitioner Vilasini Ganesh (“Ganesh”) was justifiably unsatisfied with the misguided approach by her unwanted counsel, and Petitioner Ganesh had a clear constitutional right to substitute different counsel. There was no urgency for a trial concerning billing issues that did not even involve any federal programs. Expediency should not be used to erode constitutional rights, and the Ninth Circuit has made a wrong turn that compels review by this Court. The Petition should be granted to restore the full constitutional right to counsel in the courts within the Ninth Circuit, as respected by other Circuits.
Read full brief: https://aapsonline.org/judicial/aaps-amicus-ganesh-11-29-2021.pdf