Two Supreme Court Justices Smack Congress
Article from Reason by Damon Root.
Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution vests “all legislative powers” in the hands of Congress. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in an important case that asks whether Congress violated this fundamental rule by unconstitutionally delegating its lawmaking authority to the executive branch.
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…and to prescribe rules for the registration of any such sex offenders.” In other words, Congress left it up to the attorney general to determine how to proceed with respect to the estimated 500,000 individuals whose sex crime convictions pre-date SORNA’s 2006 passage. Gundy v. U.S. centers on whether that delegation of power is constitutional.