Lively month coming up in Supreme Court
Leading up to the argument in Chicago, set for March 2, we have:
Carr v. US, argued on February 24. Carr was a convicted sex offender who moved to another State before the Federal statute requiring registration after an interstate move was enacted. He was later arrested for not having registered after enactment of the law. Question: is this an ex post facto law, since it increases the punishment for the crime, after the commission of the crime, or is it not, since he committed the Federal offense via conduct occurring after enactment of the Federal law, by not heeding its requirement to register?
The positions staked out parallel the issues raised when the firearm possession ban for domestic violence misdemeanors is applied to such convictions as occurred before the change in law, and I suspect the ruling here will determine the status of those cases.
Second, there is US v. O'Brien, to be argued February 23. At issue is the 30 year mandatory sentence for use of a fully automatic firearm in a crime. Issue: is the use of a full auto an element of the crime, which must be proven true beyond a reasonable doubt, or just a sentencing factor, which need only be proven true by a preponderence of the evidence?