Announcements and Law Updates

A comprehensive discussion of new Ninth Circuit cases, and of other new legal challenges and ideas, can be found on the Ninth Circuit blog. The Ninth Circuit blog contains Federal Defender Jon Sands' weekly Ninth Circuit summaries, interesting new defense challenges and theories posted by AFPDs David Porter and Steve Sady, and the “Case o’ The Week” memos by Federal Defender Steve Kalar. The Ninth Circuit blog is a useful starting place for the latest developments in federal criminal defense.

To search the Ninth Circuit blog use the white search box next to the orange "B," in the upper left hand corner of the site. Note that many blog entries have been tagged by Judge involved or by subject. Clicking on those tags will pull up all blog entries related to that tag entry.

CJA counsel are encouraged to comment on the blog postings – many new ideas have been fleshed out and enhanced by attorney commentary.

Justices To Decide The Application Of “Knowingly” In 18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(2) And To Address The Definition Of Generic Burglary

On January 11, 2019, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Rehaif v. United States, No. 17-9560, and Quarles v. United States, No. 17-778. 

In Rehaif, the question presented is whether the “knowingly” provision of 18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(2) – the default penalty provision for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) – 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.

In Quarles, the issue is whether the definition of generic burglary in Taylor v. United States, 495 U.S. 575 (1990), requires proof that intent to commit a crime was present at the time of unlawful entry or first unlawful remaining, as two circuits hold; or whether it is enough that the defendant formed the intent to commit a crime at any time while “remaining in” the building or structure, as the lower court and three other circuits hold.

The certiorari stage filings in Rehaif are available on the Supreme Court’s website here. The Eleventh Circuit’s opinions – initial and revised opinions – are reported at United States v. Rehaif, 868 F.3d 907 (11th Cir. 2017)(original opinion) and United States v. Rehaif, 888 F.3d 1138 (11th Cir. 2018)(revised opinion) and are also in the appendix of the petition, available here. The certiorari stage filings in Quarles are available on the Supreme Court’s website here. The Sixth Circuit’s opinion is reported at United States v. Quarles, 850 F.3d 836 (6th Cir. 2017) and is available here. The Training Division provides sentencing resources specifically on firearm offenses and enhancements for crimes of violence and violent felonies to help you argue for the best possible sentence for your client.