United States v. Coppock, No. 13-1189 (8th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Defendant entered a conditional guilty plea to a charge of failing to register and update his sex offender registration, and subsequently appealed the denial of his motion to dismiss the indictment. Defendant argued that Congress lacked authority under Article I of the Constitution to impose the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act's (SORNA), 42 U.S.C. 16911 et seq., registration requirement on him. The court concluded that Congress acted within its power in light of the Supreme Court's recent decisions in United States v. Comstock and United States v. Kebodeaux. The court's decision applies only to a sex offender who - at the time the registration requirement came into effect - was under federal parole supervision based on a conviction under federal law, and thus remained in a "special relationship with the federal government." The court rejected defendant's alternative contentions and affirmed the judgment.