Thursday, June 9, 2011

Scalia Dissents—Excoriates Congress

Justice A Scalia again dissented, as we see here.  The case is MARCUS SYKES, PETITIONER v. UNITED STATES and the decision was handed down today.  The upshot of the case is that if you drive away from a Law Enforcement Officer it is a violent felony, at least if that is the way the Federal Government wants to charge you.  This falls into the category of the law known as the "residual clause".

At the end of Justice Scalia's dissent is this paragraph:
We face a Congress that puts forth an ever-increasing volume of laws in general, and of criminal laws in particular. It should be no surprise that as the volume increases, so do the number of imprecise laws. And no surprise that our indulgence of imprecisions that violate the Constitution encourages imprecisions that violate the Constitution. Fuzzy, leave-the-details-to-be-sorted-out-by-the-courts legislation is attractive to the Congressman who wants credit for addressing a national problem but does not have the time (or perhaps the votes) to grapple with the nittygritty. In the field of criminal law, at least, it is time to call a halt. I do not think it would be a radical step—indeed, I think it would be highly responsible—to limit ACCA to the named violent crimes. Congress can quickly add what it wishes. Because the majority prefers to let vagueness reign, I respectfully dissent.
And, again, Justice Scalia is correct.  The Congress writes too many laws, and most of those poorly.  Worse, they can't get a budget out.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

1 comment:

nealcroz said...

It isn't so much about driving away from a cop.....it is about compounding violations of the Constitution by violating more of the Constitution. This is not going to improve anytime soon....and the two latest additions to the SCOTUS are without peer in their social engineering, Constitution be damned jurisprudence (and I use the term "prudence" advisedly).

This, along with forcing the state of CA to release thousands of felons because they aren't housed in comfy quarters is simply fanning the fires burning the modern day Rome....in the meantime...Obama continues to fiddle....