Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Carr v. U.S.

Interpretation: present tense: enacted in 2006, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) makes it a federal crime for, inter alia, any person (1) who “is required to register under SORNA,” and (2) who “travels in interstate or foreign commerce,” to (3) “knowingly fail to register or update a registration,” 18 U. S. C. §2250(a) ; Section 2250 does not apply to sex offenders whose interstate travel occurred before SORNA’s effective date; and because the Dictionary Act’s provision that statutory “words used in the present tense include the future as well as the present,” 1 U. S. C. §1, implies that the present tense generally does not include the past, regulating a person who “travels” is not readily understood to encompass a person whose only travel occurred before the statute took effect; a statute’s “undeviating use of the present tense” is a “striking indicator” of its “prospective orientation.” Gwaltney of Smithfield, Ltd. v. Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc., 484 U. S. 49, 59; because §2250 liability cannot be predicated on pre-SORNA travel, the Court need not address whether the statute violates the Ex Post Facto Clause (U.S.S.Ct., 01.06.10, Carr v. U.S., J. Sotomayor).

Interprétation : usage du présent : les mots utilisés au présent incluent le futur aussi bien que le présent. Mais non pas le passé. Légiférer au sujet d’une personne qui « voyage » n’englobe pas sans autre la situation d’une personne dont l’unique voyage a eu lieu avant l’entrée en vigueur de la loi.

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