Monday, May 17, 2010

Supreme Court Rules Mentally Ill Sex Offenders Can Be Detained Indefinitely

In a 7 to 2 decision, the United States Supreme Court upheld the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act which provides that mentally ill sex offenders can be detained indefinitely beyond the end of their prison sentences.  The U.S. Court of Appeals had struck down the law by finding that Congress' power under the Commerce Clause required did not meet the due process standards.  The Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeals by finding that the Necessary and Proper Clause grants Congress sufficient authority to pass such laws.  The Court found that the scope of the statute was narrow enough and the sound reasoning behind the federal government being a custodian for protecting the public from those in federal custody.  The dissenters were Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

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