Who Gets to Define the Crime?

Agencies have to interpret statutes to carry out the work of the administrative state. But in the hands of federal prosecutors, does interpretation amount to defining the crime itself? Herman Gundy believes that is what happened to him. In a case before the U.S. Supreme Court this term, Gundy v. United States, Gundy is challenging his conviction for failing to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Notification and Registration Act (SORNA). Failing to register is a federal felony. Gundy was required to register, even though his sex-offense conviction came a year before SORNA’s passage in 2006. In fact, whether the law itself actually requires Gundy to register is unclear—but a regulation issued by the Attorney General under SORNA required that he register. SORNA gives the Attorney General the authority to “specify the applicability” of the registration requirement to sex offenders who were convicted before SORNA was enacted. Over the years,…

Read more detail on Recent Administrative Law posts –

This entry was posted in Administrative law and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply