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US v Myers

12-9-2008 Florida:

US v Myers
591 F.Supp.2d 1312 (2008)
Unfortunately Myers was overturned on appeal see US v Myers (584 F.3d 1349 (2009)) full details below.

And also: US v Powers
544 F.Supp.2d 1331 (2008)
Unfortunately Powers was overturned on appeal see US v Powers (584 F.3d 1349 (2009)) see link.
THIS MATTER is before the Court upon Defendant Edward Myers's Motion To Dismiss Indictment (DE 18). The Court has carefully reviewed said Motion and the entire court file and is otherwise fully advised in the premises.

Defendant Edward Myers is charged in a one-count Indictment (DE 7) with failure to comply with the registration requirements of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 16901, et seq. & 18 U.S.C. § 2250 (2006) (hereinafter "SORNA"). He seeks to dismiss the Indictment on several grounds, the most compelling of which is that both § 2250 and the registration requirements found at § 16913 exceed Congress's Commerce Clause power and are therefore unconstitutional.1

This Order centers upon the constitutionality of two statutes within the Adam Walsh Act. The thrust of the discussion centers on Congress's Commerce Clause power, where the intricacies of the law are divorced from any value judgment as to whether and how society should protect itself from sex offenders. Sex offenders have undermined the decency once assumed in our fellow man and made us think twice before sending our children and grandchildren outside for a day of carefree play; they have paralyzed our families with fear. The crimes the Adam Walsh Act is meant to prevent are among the most heinous anyone can imagine. To that end, no lawful measure is too great and few punishments are too severe to protect society from sex offenders. While this sentiment reflects the undersigned's personal feelings on the matter, it does not alter Congress's inability to bring about a manifold good through means it has been denied by the Founding Fathers. See Keller v. United States,213 U.S. 138, 144, 29 S.Ct. 470, 53 L.Ed. 737 (1909).

... ... ...

With statutes like those at issue here, Congress's desire to aid in the protection of society against sexual predators is understandable and laudable. However, "the powers of the legislature are defined, and limited; and that those limits may not be mistaken, or forgotten, the constitution is written." Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137, 175, 2 L.Ed. 60 (1803). Specifically, the grant of power made under the Commerce Clause is limited. Lopez, 514 U.S. at 552-553, 115 S.Ct. 1624 (citing Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. (9 Wheat.) at 189-95).

Therefore, the statutes challenged herein cannot be upheld. Section 16913 transgresses entirely the limits set on Congress by the Commerce Clause. It cannot be defended except by adulteration of the text of the Constitution and controlling caselaw. Section 2250 also exceeds that grant of power made to Congress under the Commerce Clause. It is in no way a regulation of persons in interstate commerce but an exertion of a general police power through an illusory and impermissible jurisdictional nexus. Thus, the Court declares that § 16913 is unconstitutional in that Congress lacks the power to enact the same under the Commerce Clause. Because an unconstitutional law is no law at all, Defendant Edward Myers shall go hence without day.

Accordingly, after due consideration, it is


1. The Court hereby declares 42 U.S.C. § 16913 and 18 U.S.C. § 2250 as unconstitutional for the reasons expressed above;

2. Defendant Edward Myers's Motion To Dismiss Indictment (DE 17) be and the same is hereby GRANTED; and

3. That Defendant Edward Myers be discharged to go hence without day for return and exonerated of bond, if any, as to the Indictment hereinabove specified.


On Appeal: US v Myers

The Government appeals the district court's order dismissing an indictment that charged Edward Myers with traveling in interstate commerce and failing to register as sex offender as required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a). The district court concluded that both § 2250 and SORNA's sex-offender registration requirements found in 42 U.S.C. § 16913 exceeded Congress's authority under the Commerce Clause. United States v. Myers,591 F.Supp.2d 1312, 1316 (S.D.Fla.2008).

We recently upheld against a Commerce Clause challenge both the failure-to-register offense in 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a) and the registration requirements in 42 U.S.C. § 16913. See United States v. Ambert,561 F.3d 1202, 1210-12 (11th Cir.2009). Myers concedes that the district court's order dismissing the indictment is contrary to Ambert but challenges the reasoning of that panel's decision on appeal. We are bound by that decision unless overruled by the Supreme Court or this Court sitting en banc. See United States v. Vega-Castillo,540 F.3d 1235, 1236 (11th Cir.2008).1 Accordingly, we vacate the district court's order and remand for reinstatement of the indictment. See United States v. Powers,562 F.3d 1342, 1344 (11th Cir.2009).


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