Tagged: SORNA

Second Circuit Rejects Attack on Sex Registry Law Based on Supreme Court’s Obamacare Decision

The Second Circuit rejected an attack on the prosecution of a NY-registered sex offender arrested in Nevada for failing to register in Nevada under the Federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, (SORNA), 18 U.S.C. §2250(a). The defendant had relied on language in Justice Roberts’ majority decision on Obamacare to argue that the federal statute exceeded Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce.

The Second Circuit’s opinion reads,

[w]e decline Robbins’ invitation not because his arguments all lack force, nor because the constitutionality of SORNA – particularly when applied within the states – is beyond questions, see United States v. Kebodeaux, 507 U.S. ___, No. 12-418, slip op. at 5 (U.S. June 24, 2013) (Roberts, C.J., concurring in the judgment) (“The fact of a prior federal conviction, by itself, does not give Congress a freestanding, independent, and perpetual interest in protecting the public from the convict’s purely intrastate conduct.”), but because the constitutionality of SORNA as applied to Robbins remains unaffected by any limitations on Congress’s Commerce Claus power that may be found in NFIB.