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Index for Dr. Sell Forced-Drugging Case

Dr. Charles Thomas Sell is a St. Louis dentist whom the government, in 2003, sought to forcibly drug in order to make him "competent to stand trial." The CCLE joined in the defense of Dr. Sell in an effort to stop the government from violating Dr. Sell's right to cognitive liberty.

Primary Resources

CCLE Legal Briefs

CCLE Press Releases

  •  Supreme Court Rules on Sell Case (June 16, 2003)
    The United States Supreme Court upheld the right to refuse unwanted psychotropic medication in its landmark decision in Sell v. United States, delivered earlier today. Ruling in favor of a St. Louis dentist who resisted government attempts to force medicate him with antipsychotic drugs, the Court held that while involuntary medication solely for trial competence purposes may be appropriate in some instances, those instances would likely be “rare.”

  • Justices Examine the Intersection of Freedom of Thought With New
    Mind-Altering Drugs
    (March 3, 2003)

    Washington, DC—Today’s Supreme Court oral argument saw government lawyers clashing with lawyers for Dr. Charles Thomas Sell. Backed by a number of civil liberties organizations, Dr. Sell’s lawyers told the Court that their client’s right to bodily and mental integrity was guaranteed under the First, Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution.

  • U.S. Supreme Court Set to Hear Oral Argument
    in Forced Drugging Case on Monday March 3

    On Monday March 3rd, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the groundbreaking case of Dr. Charles Sell, a St. Louis dentist ordered to submit to involuntary medication with anti-psychotic drugs (Sell v. United States, No. 02-5664). Charged with Medicaid fraud in 1997, Sell was found incompetent to stand trial due to mental illness.  Since that time, he has been fighting the federal government’s efforts to forcibly inject him with drugs they claim will render him competent to stand trial.

  • CCLE Files Brief in US Supreme Court (December 19, 2002)
    In the Sell case, which some have called the “Roe v. Wade of the mind,” the CCLE field an amicus curiae brief today, arguing that the First Amendment guarantees freedom of thought and should be read to protect St. Louis dentist, Dr. Charles Thomas Sell, a man the government is seeking to forcibly drug with antipsychotic medication in order to make him competent to stand trial.

  • Supreme Court Grants Review (November 4, 2002)
    The US Supreme Court yesterday [Nov. 4] agreed to hear the case of Dr. Charles Thomas Sell, a dentist who the government seeks to forcibly inject with mind-altering drugs. In May 2002, the Federal Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that Dr. Sell could be injected with psychotropic drugs in order to make him “mentally competent” to stand trial for Medicaid fraud. Dr. Sell insists on his right to refuse this mind-altering medication, and the Supreme Court has agreed to review the case.
  • CCLE Files Brief in US Supreme Court (August 20, 2002)
    Supporting Dr. Sell's Petition for Writ of Certiorari
  • CCLE Fights Forced-Drugging of Dentist (April 8, 2002)

Other Resources

Eighth Circuit Court

Eighth Circuit's opinion 
(HTML version)  (PDF version

Filed 03/07/02 United States v. Charles Thomas Sell
U.S. Court of Appeals, Case No. 01-1862, Eastern District of Missouri

Dr. Sell'S Legal briefs (8th Circ.)
011862_1br.pdf APPELLANT Brief Filed: 05/21/01  
REPLY Brief Filed: 07/12/01  
011862_1br.pdf SUBSTITUTED REPLY Brief Filed: 07/25/01

The government's legal briefs (8th Circ.)
011862_1br.pdf APPELLEE Brief Filed: 06/25/01

AAPS Materials (8th Circ.)

AAPS Press Release
[March 8, 2002]
APPS amicus brief
[filed 10/15/01]

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