United States v. Felts, 674 F.3d 599 (6th Cir. 2012)
Nature of Case: Appellant was convicted of sex offenses in Tennessee. Subsequent to his release from prison, he moved to Florida, then to Puerto Rico, without notifying authorities in Tennessee. Appellant moved to dismiss the indictment prior to trial on various grounds including (1) SORNA had not been completely implemented in Tennessee, and therefore he could not fail to comply with it, (2) that SORNA violates the Ex Post Facto clause, (3) that SORNA violates principles of non-delegation and (4) that SORNA violates the 10th Amendment. Appellant’s motion was denied, and he subsequently pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender. Appellant then sought review from the 6th Circuit.
Holding: 6th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. The duty of someone required to register under SORNA is imposed without regard to whether or not a state is in substantial compliance with SORNA. SORNA also does not violate Ex Post Facto principles, nor does it impermissibly delegate authority to the Attorney General, nor does SORNA violate the 10th Amendment by requiring states to carry out federal law.
- 6th Circuit Opinion | view via Google Scholar
- Appellant’s Brief
- Appellee’s Brief
- Appellant’s Reply Brief