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Applies to persons who travel in or use any facility of interstate and foreign commerce.
Proscribes interstate travel and use of the mail, telegraph, telephone, radio, or television with intent to incite, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot; or to aid or abet any person in inciting or participating in a riot or committing any act of violence in furtherance of a riot.
“ A person who recklessly, knowingly or intentionally: (1) engages in fighting or in tumultuous conduct; (2) makes unreasonable noise and continues to do so after being asked to stop; (3) disrupts a lawful assembly of persons; commits disorderly conduct.…”
“ It is … true that ‘public places’ historically associated with the free exercise of expressive activities, such as streets, sidewalks, and parks, are considered, without more, to be ‘public forums.’ … In such places, the government’s ability to permissibly restrict expressive conduct is very limited: the government may enforce reasonable time, place, and manner regulations as long as the restrictions ‘are content-neutral, are narrowly tailored to serve a significant government interest, and leave open ample alternative channels of communication.’ … Additional restrictions such as an absolute prohibition on a particular type of expression will be upheld only if narrowly drawn to accomplish a compelling governmental interest.…”
In 1992, the Chicago City Council enacted an ordinance prohibiting criminal street gang members from loitering in any public place.
Over the next three years, the police issued over 89,000 dispersal orders and arrested more than 42,000 people for violating the new law.
In 1999, the United States Supreme Court declared the ordinance unconstitutional.
Writing for the Court, Justice Stevens concluded that the ordinance did not provide “sufficiently specific limits on the enforcement discretion of the police” and failed to meet “constitutional standards for definiteness and clarity.”
The Court found that the ordinance succumbed to the vice of vagueness--that the city council had failed to meet its obligation to specify the criminal law with reasonable precision.
Most curfew laws define juveniles as unmarried persons under age eighteen and prohibit them from being on public streets or in other public places from midnight to 6:00 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or guardian or another adult approved by the juvenile’s parent or guardian.
California’s Wireless Communications Device Law, effective January 1, 2009, makes it a traffic infraction to write, send, or read a text-based communication on an electronic wireless communications device while driving a motor vehicle.
In July 2009, Tennessee became the 10 th state to ban texting while driving.
The Supreme Court upheld a federal law banning the interstate transportation of certain firearms.
Miller, who had been arrested for transporting a double-barreled sawed-off shotgun from Oklahoma to Arkansas, sought the protection of the Second Amendment.
The Court rejected Miller’s argument, asserting that “we cannot say that the 2nd Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument.”
The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 Codified at 18 U.S.C.A. § 921 et seq .
Established a comprehensive regime governing the distribution of firearms.
Prohibits dealers from transferring handguns to persons under 21, nonresidents of the dealer’s state, and those prohibited by state or local laws from purchasing or possessing firearms.
Forbids possession of a firearm by, and transfer of a firearm to convicted felons, users of controlled substances, persons adjudicated as incompetent or committed to mental institutions, illegal aliens, persons dishonorably discharged from the military, persons who have renounced their citizenship, and fugitives from justice.
In upholding a federal gun control act, the Court said:
“ These legislative restrictions on the use of firearms are neither based on constitutionally suspect criteria, nor do they trench upon any constitutionally protected liberties. . . . [T]he Second Amendment guarantees no right to keep and bear a firearm that does not have ‘some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.’”
United States v. Evans 928 F.2d 858 (USCA 9 th Cir. 1991)
In this case the 9 th Circuit upheld the federal statute that prohibits possession of unregistered machine guns, 26 U.S.C.A. Sec. 5861(d) (1982).
The appellant, Creed M. Evans, was convicted of making false statements to the ATF.
Evans argued that the mere possession of machine guns is not sufficiently related to interstate commerce to permit Congress to make it a criminal offense.
Does the 9th Circuit’s reasoning here square with the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Lopez ?
In 1991, former President Reagan shocked many observers by endorsing a bill that would require a 5-day waiting period on the purchase of handguns.
The bill was named for Jim Brady, Reagan’s press secretary who was shot and incapacitated by John Hinkley’s assassination attempt on Reagan in 1981.
The purpose of the waiting period was to allow for a background check on the prospective buyer, with the goal of prohibiting convicted felons or persons with a history of mental illness (e.g. Hinckley) from buying a gun.
The U.S. Constitution vests in Congress the power “[t]o establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization...."
Federal statutes prohibit improper entry by aliens, make it an offense for an alien who has been removed from the United States to reenter the country, and include a variety of offenses that make it unlawful to enter the country by false and misleading actions or by knowingly entering into a marriage or establishing a commercial enterprise to evade the immigration laws.
Lax enforcement of immigration laws in the face of massive illegal immigration across the nation’s southern border has led to a divisive political battle over “immigration reform.”
In 2006 the president and Congress began to seriously address the problem, but by 2009 major political differences continued to thwart Congressional action to achieve a unified approach to the numerous issues surrounding immigration and border control.
“ Whoever owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.…”
“ Whoever, with intent to injure, interfere with, or obstruct the national defense of the United States, willfully injures, destroys, contaminates or infects, or attempts to so injure, destroy, contaminate or infect any national-defense material, national-defense premises, or national-defense utilities, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and, if death results to any person, shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life.”
Espionage consists of turning over state secrets to a foreign government and is covered by a number of federal statutes which criminalize gathering or transmitting defense information “with intent … that the information … be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation.”
The Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 prohibits disclosure of the identities of undercover intelligence officers, agents, informants, and their “sources.”
§ 802 defines terrorism as “activities that … involve criminal acts dangerous to human life that appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, to influence government policy by intimidation or coercion, or to affect government conduct by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.”
§ 803 prohibits knowingly harboring persons who have committed or who are about to commit an act of terrorism.
§ 805 applies prohibitions against providing material support for terrorism offenses outside of the U.S.
§ 806 subjects to civil forfeiture all assets, foreign or domestic, of individuals and terrorist organizations that plan or perpetrate domestic or international terrorism against the United States.
Federal Statute on Weapons of Mass Destruction
“ Whoever knowingly develops, produces, stockpiles, transfers, acquires, retains, or possesses any biological agent, toxin, or delivery system for use as a weapon, or knowingly assists a foreign state or any organization to do so, or attempts, threatens, or conspires to do the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both. There is extraterritorial Federal jurisdiction over an offense under this section committed by or against a national of the United States.”