In other Supreme Court news…

Clarence-Thomas-Voisine-Argument-1920x1000-c-top…the Court handed down a 6-2 decision in Voisine et al v. U.S., that reckless domestic assaults can be considered misdemeanors that restrict gun ownership.

(If you’ll remember, this is the case in which Associate Justice Clarence Thomas broke his 10-year silence on the bench to ask a question. He, along with unlikely ally Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, voted in the negative.

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5 responses to “In other Supreme Court news…

  1. I’m wondering what specifically Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor objected to, prompting her to vote against it. The way I understand it, it would have to be an action serious enough that charges were brought against a person.

    • I think Sotomayor was still in her anti-police state mode, (see Utah v. Strieff) when joining with parts I and II of Thomas’ dissent.

      Because of differences in definitions between Maine law and federal law:

      [P]etitioners’ prior assault convictions [under Maine law] do not necessarily have as an element the use of physical force against a family member. These prior convictions, therefore, do not qualify as a misdemeanor crime involving domestic violence under federal law, and petitioners’ convictions accordingly should be reversed. At the very least, to the extent there remains uncertainty over whether Maine’s assault statute is divisible, the Court should vacate and remand for the First Circuit to determine that statutory interpretation question in the first instance.

      Sotomayor agreed that recklessness per se, as included in Maine law, did not fulfill the requirement of intent necessary under federal law. And probably that expanding the application of federal law to include cases where intent was defined and applied differently posed too many risks of abuse of power and consequence not intended under federal law.

      • I could never be a lawyer. Anticipating every what if before doing what seems to make sense would drive me nuts.

        • I came to the same realization but for different reasons.

          Early on, when reading law, you find out that what seems to make sense doesn’t always make sense in actuality. That’s where the science (jurisprudence) comes in.

          There’s a reason they call it code.

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