Does this mean there can’t be a difference in punishment between e.g. “Robbery” and “Armed Robbery”?
Okay. Make it one size fits all and keep the stiffer sentencing.
Here’s what’s interesting though. I think this is another indication that Gorsuch is a very much pro individual civil rights kind of Justice. And that could bode well for how he views liberalized RKBA. It is an individual civil right you know.
Justice Neil Gorsuch joined with the Supreme Court’s liberal bloc to deal victory for criminal defendants Monday, striking down a federal law that punishes gun crimes as unconstitutionally vague.
The law at issue authorizes heightened penalties for individuals who use firearms to a commit a “crime of violence.” In dissent, Justice Brett Kavanaugh warned the decision would undermine public safety.
“Only the people’s elected representatives in Congress have the power to write new federal criminal laws,” Gorsuch wrote in the majority opinion. “And when Congress exercises that power, it has to write statutes that give ordinary people fair warning about what the law demands of them.”
“Vague laws transgress both of those constitutional requirements,” Gorsuch added. “They hand off the legislature’s responsibility for defining criminal behavior to unelected prosecutors and judges, and they leave people with no sure way to know what consequences will attach to their conduct.”