Constitutional Law I: Hypothetical Exam Problem

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EKhorovsky

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Constitutional Law I: Hypothetical Exam Problem

Postby EKhorovsky » Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:45 am

As of right now, I am absolutely blanking on how to even approach this problem. Any help on how to organize the answer would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance for your assistance!

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) imposes a requirement on all states to maintain a registry of sex offenders who live within their respective states.

Additionally, Title 18, United States Code, Section 2250 provides that a person required to register under SORNA who "travels in interstate or foreign commerce" and "knowingly fails to register or update a registration as required by [SORNA] shall be fined ... or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both."

Before SORNA was enacted into law, John Smith pled guilty in the state of Kansas state court to the felony offense of Aggravated Indecent Liberties With a Child. Under Kansas state law, Smith is required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.

On June 15, 2011, a federal grand jury indicted Smith for traveling in interstate commerce for moving to Florida and failing to register as a sex offender as required under 18 U.S.C. § 2250. Smith moves for dismissal of the indictment on the grounds that SORNA is unconstitutional.

The Act provides states with a financial incentive to comply with the Act’s registration requirements: "For any fiscal year, ... a jurisdiction that fails ... to substantially implement [SORNA's requirements] shall not receive 20 percent of the funds that would otherwise be allocated for that fiscal year to the jurisdiction under the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968."

What arguments might Smith make in support of his constitutional claims and how should they be evaluated?

Big Red

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Re: Constitutional Law I: Hypothetical Exam Problem

Postby Big Red » Sun Nov 27, 2016 3:15 am

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) imposes a requirement on all states to maintain a registry of sex offenders who live within their respective states.

This could be framed as a Printz anti-commandeering issue, i.e. pressing the state executive branch, disrupting the unitary art II executive, etc.

Additionally, Title 18, United States Code, Section 2250 provides that a person required to register under SORNA who "travels in interstate or foreign commerce" and "knowingly fails to register or update a registration as required by [SORNA] shall be fined ... or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both."

The question is clearly pushing you toward CC doctrine (IMO a stretch), but there are echoes of Comstock N&P logic that I would cover here

The Act provides states with a financial incentive to comply with the Act’s registration requirements: "For any fiscal year, ... a jurisdiction that fails ... to substantially implement [SORNA's requirements] shall not receive 20 percent of the funds that would otherwise be allocated for that fiscal year to the jurisdiction under the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968."

This is looking at the Dole conditional spending stuff, where Sebelius would need to be talked about

EKhorovsky

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Re: Constitutional Law I: Hypothetical Exam Problem

Postby EKhorovsky » Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:01 am

Thank you, Big Red! You are awesome!



Big Red wrote:The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) imposes a requirement on all states to maintain a registry of sex offenders who live within their respective states.

This could be framed as a Printz anti-commandeering issue, i.e. pressing the state executive branch, disrupting the unitary art II executive, etc.

Additionally, Title 18, United States Code, Section 2250 provides that a person required to register under SORNA who "travels in interstate or foreign commerce" and "knowingly fails to register or update a registration as required by [SORNA] shall be fined ... or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both."

The question is clearly pushing you toward CC doctrine (IMO a stretch), but there are echoes of Comstock N&P logic that I would cover here

The Act provides states with a financial incentive to comply with the Act’s registration requirements: "For any fiscal year, ... a jurisdiction that fails ... to substantially implement [SORNA's requirements] shall not receive 20 percent of the funds that would otherwise be allocated for that fiscal year to the jurisdiction under the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968."

This is looking at the Dole conditional spending stuff, where Sebelius would need to be talked about



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