Reynolds v. United States - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 02-01-12 featuring Michael DeBow

February 1, 2012

Michael DeBow

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  Reynolds v. United States - Post-Decision SCOTUScast - MP3
Running Time: 00:07:20

Michael DeBowOn January 23, 2012, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Reynolds v. United States.  The question in this case concerns whether the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) requires an offender who was convicted before the passage of SORNA to register thereunder even though the legislation appears to leave that determination to the Attorney General.  A lower court determined that SORNA itself required pre-SORNA offenders to register even if the Attorney General had not yet deemed that requirement applicable to them.

In an opinion delivered by Justice Breyer, the Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s decision and remanded the case for further proceedings.  By a vote of 7-2, the Court held that SORNA’s registration requirements, properly interpreted, do not apply to pre-SORNA offenders until the Attorney General so specifies.  Justice Scalia filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justice Ginsburg.

To discuss the case, we have Michael DeBow, who is a professor at the Samford University Cumberland School of Law.

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Related Links

Opinion - January 23, 2012 (PDF)
Oral Argument Transcript - October 3, 2011 (PDF)
Reynolds v. United States - Post-Argument SCOTUSCast