United States v. Samas, No. 05-5213-cr (2d Cir. March 24, 2009) (found here)
Samas contended on appeal (among other things) that the mandatory minimum sentence provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 841(b) conflict with the parsimony clause contained in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). More specifically, Samas argued that the balance required by the parsimony clause is incompatible with a mandatory sentencing scheme.
The Second Circuit rejected Samas' argument. It drew a parallel between mandatory minimum narcotics sentences and the mandatory minimums applicable to firearms offenses, and cited to a case (United States v. Chavez, 549 F.3d 119 (2d Cir. 2008)) in which it held that the firearms mandatory minimums are not inconsistent with the parsimony clause. (It did, however, acknowledge that there is some tension.) More specifically, the Second Circuit noted that the introductory language of Section 3553(a) states that "[e]xcept as otherwise specifically provided," and that mandatory minimums (whether related to narcotics or firearms) are one such "otherwise specifically provided" for circumstance.