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January 12, 2010

SCOTUS hearing challenge to federal sex offender civil commitment statute today

This morning, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in US v. Comstock (08-1224), a case in which the Fourth Circuit had found constitutionally problematic the federal sex offender civil commitment statute. There are effective previews of the case worth checking out at SCOTUSblog and Sex Crimes and in links from How Appealing.

I look forward to reading the Comstock transcript later today to see if most of the Justices frame this case as one about sex offenders or one about federalism.  I generally think federalism concerns ought to be playing a bigger role in lots of criminal justice contexts, and I am eager to see if any of the current Justices may share that instinct.

January 12, 2010 at 10:00 AM | Permalink


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I think the case is going to be focused on the scope of the Necessary and Proper Clause, and accordingly, has the potential to be a seminal constiutitional law case.

And any opinion about the scope of this Clause will implicate federalism.

Posted by: DEJ | Jan 12, 2010 1:15:45 PM

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