Greer v. United States

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: October 7, 2019
  • Case #: 18-9444
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: 753 F. App’x 886 (11th Cir. 2019)
  • Full Text Opinion

1. Whether—in light of intervening authority in United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995)—Congress may rely on Scarborough v. United States, 431 U.S. 563 (1977) to criminalize intrastate possession of a firearm on the sole basis that the firearm once moved through interstate commerce. 2. Whether the “knowingly” provision of § 924(a)(2) applies to both the possession and status elements of a § 922(g) crime, as has been urged by then-Judge, now Justice Gorsuch, or whether it applies only to the possession element, as has been held by the courts.

Petitioner was charged for possessing a firearm while a convicted felon. The firearm was manufactured out of state and Petitioner was convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). Petitioner appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that § 922(g) is unconstitutional because the government is not required to prove that the firearm he possessed had a substantial effect on interstate commerce. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed Petitioner’s conviction and sentence holding that the jurisdictional element immunizes § 922(g) from a facial attack. Petitioner argues that § 922(g)(1) is unconstitutional because the substantial effect on interstate commerce does not extend to the mere possession of a firearm that has traveled across state lines at some prior point. Petitioner argues that this is an unconstitutional extension of the commerce clause under United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995). Petitioner further argues that the case should be considered under the pending question of whether the “knowingly violates” provision of 18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(2) applies to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). The United States Supreme Court granted Petitioner’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis and the petition for a writ of certiorari. The case is remanded to the Eleventh Circuit for consideration in light of Rehaif v. United States, 588 U.S. ___ (2019) and the judgment is vacated. VACATED and REMANDED. 

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