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May 13, 2009

Two significant sex offender rulings on constitutional issues from the Eighth Circuit

As noted on this official opinion page the Eighth Circuit has released two significant sex offender rulings today.  Here are the basic detail (and links) from the unofficial summaries on that page:

United States v. Roger Dean Tom, No: 08-2345 -- District court erred in finding 18 U.S.C. Sec. 4248 (the "Adam Walsh Act") was an unconstitutional exercise of Congress's powers under the Commerce Clause; Congress, having been empowered by the Commerce Clause to criminalize and punish the conduct of which defendant is guilty, has the ancillary authority under the Necessary and Proper Clause to provide for his civil commitment so that he may be prevented from its commission in the first place; 18 U.S.C. Sec. 4248 does not upset the delicate federal state balance mandated by the Constitution. 

United States v. Scott Hacker, No: 08-2427 -- SORNA's registration and penalty provisions are valid exercises of Congress' authority under the Commerce Clause; Hacker lacks standing to raise a Tenth Amendment challenge to SORNA; Hacker lacks standing to assert an argument that Congress impermissibly delegated to the Attorney General the authority to determine SORNA's retroactive effect; Hacker lacks standing to challenge the interim rule on APA grounds.

May 13, 2009 at 11:57 AM | Permalink


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The Roger Dean Tom case now puts the 8th and 4th Circuits in direct conflict over the constitutionality of section 4248. See U.S. v. Comstock, 551 F.3d 274 (4th Cir. 2009).

Posted by: Law Clerk | May 13, 2009 2:45:38 PM

Huh. a person with *three* first names.

Posted by: . | May 13, 2009 3:57:48 PM

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