Rodriguez v. United States

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: October 7, 2019
  • Case #: 18-9266
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: United States v. Rodriguez, No. 18-2045, Order (3rd. Cir. Jan. 24, 2019)
  • Full Text Opinion

1. Whether the residual clause in Section 924(c)(3)(B) is void for vagueness based on the holdings in Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015) and Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S. Ct. 1204 (2018); 2. and, if so, whether the unconstitutional vagueness of the residual clause in Section 924(c)(3)(B) can be cured by resort to a conduct-based approach instead of the categorical approach?

Petitioners each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a) and conspiracy to possess a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(o) for a series of robberies. Petitioners were charged accordingly and have since filed several unsuccessful motions to correct their sentences in light of Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015), and United States v. Dimaya, 138 S. Ct. 1204 (2018). The Third Circuit most recently denied Petitioners’ certificates of appealability finding that they had not made a substantial showing that reasonable jurists would find the district court’s determination that relief is unavailable under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 debatable. Petitioners argue that the residual clause of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(3)(B) is unconstitutionally vague and therefore should not be construed to mandate the categorical approach. Petitioners note that this creates a circuit split and that this question was before the Court at the time of their petition. The United States Supreme Court granted Petitioners’ motion to proceed in forma pauperis and the petition for a writ of certiorari. The Court vacated the judgment and remanded to the Third Circuit for consideration in light of the decision in United States v. Davis, 588 U.S. ­­­­­­____ (2019).

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