Free Minds & Free Markets

Gorsuch Challenges Blank Check for the U.S. Attorney General: New at Reason

"What's vaguer than a blank check to the attorney general of the United States to determine who he's going to prosecute?"

Public DomainPublic DomainIn October, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in an important case that asks whether Congress violated Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution by delegating its lawmaking authority to the executive branch.

That question is at the heart of Gundy v. United States, in which convicted sex offender Herman Avery Gundy is challenging the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act of 2006 (SORNA), which among other things requires convicted sex offenders to register, check in periodically in person, and share personal information with the authorities.

The law also contains this provision: "The Attorney General shall have the authority to specify the applicability of the requirements of this subchapter to sex offenders convicted before the enactment of this chapter." In other words, Congress left it up to the A.G. to determine how to deal with the estimated 500,000 individuals whose sex crime convictions predate SORNA's passage, writes Damon Root.

Photo Credit: Public Domain


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