US Supreme Court Mulls Over Sex Offender Confinement Act
The Supreme Court of the United States is deciding whether the federal government has the same authority as the member states regarding the further confinement of sex offenders who have already completed their service time in jail.
The issue rose up after Solicitor General Elena Kagan argued that the justices uphold the 2006 Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. Chief Justice John Roberts asked her to defend why federal authority in sex offender cases does not end when their prison sentences lapsed.
Justice Antonin Scalia has the most reservations about it after hearing Kagan argue that states may not confine further some prisoners who they think may still pose dangers. “This is a recipe for the federal government taking over everything,” Scalia said.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor said that the theory would actually hold out for any dangerous criminal if the argument passes.
Currently, public health and safety are powers granted to states. Laws where the nation act as one are held by the federal government, like war. Federal law only applies in crimes if the person involve is a federal authority or if it had happened in a federal property.