United States v. Moriello, No. 19-4464 (4th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
The Fourth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction under two administrative regulations for repeatedly refusing to comply with directions from an immigration judge and a courtroom bailiff to cease distracting conduct during an immigration proceeding. The charges stemmed from an incident where court personnel requested defendant, who works as an immigration attorney, to stop using her cell phone. When defendant refused, she received a citation from Federal Protective Service officers. Count One charged defendant with failing to comply with the lawful direction of an authorized individual while on property under the authority of the GSA in violation of the Direction Regulation. See 41 C.F.R. 102-74.385. Count Two charged defendant with impeding and disrupting the performance of official duties by government employees while on property under the authority of the GSA in violation of the Conduct Regulation. See 41 C.F.R. 02-74.390. The regulations were promulgated pursuant to 40 U.S.C. 1315.
The court concluded that the district court properly rejected defendant's vagueness challenge; the district court properly concluded that section 1315 is a constitutional delegation of authority and that the regulations do not exceed the scope of that authority; the district court properly concluded that the regulations do not violate the Tenth Amendment; the district court properly interpreted the Direction Regulation; and the district court properly found that sufficient evidence supports defendant's conviction under Count Two.