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August 1, 2008

Eighth Circuit Upholds Constitutionality of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act

As discussed in this post on the Sex Crimes blog, the Eighth Circuit issued an opinion yesterday in United States v. May in which it upheld the constitutionality of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”).  Although the defendant, who was charged with one count of failure to register as a sex offender in violation of SORNA, raised a host of constitutional challenges to SORNA, the Court rejected each. 

The district court found (1) SORNA applies to May, (2) SORNA’s retroactive application does not violate the ex post facto clause, (3) Congress did not improperly delegate legislative responsibility to the Attorney General in violation of the non-delegation doctrine, (4) application of SORNA to May did not violate May’s due process rights, and (5) Congress’s enactment of SORNA was a permissible exercise of its authority under the commerce clause. We affirm.

The Eighth Circuit’s decision is the first by a federal appellate court to decide whether SORNA is constitutional. 

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August 1, 2008 at 07:20 PM | Permalink

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