February 24, 2009

Supreme Court Decides United States v. Hayes

On February 24, 2009 the Supreme Court decided United States v. Hayes, No. 07-608.

The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits people convicted of "a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence" from possessing a firearm. 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(9). In Hayes, the court held that, although the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant's underlying crime involved a domestic relationship, it need not prove that the existence of a domestic relationship was a formal element of the underlying crime. Justice Ginsburg delivered the opinion of the court. Chief Justice Roberts filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Scalia joined.

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