United States v. Ross, No. 11-3115 (D.C. Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Defendant plead guilty to failing to register with local authorities under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), 42 U.S.C. 16901 et seq. Defendant first argued that insofar as the Attorney General took steps before defendant's alleged SORNA violation to "specify" the act's application to pre-SORNA offenders, those efforts were defective under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 551 et seq. Second, defendant argued that Congress's vesting the Attorney General with such authority violated the constitutional rule against undue delegation of legislative authority. The court explained that all the other geographic circuits have addressed the nondelegation claim and have rejected it. The court need not reach the delegation issue based on its conclusion regarding the APA claims. Concluding that the act did not apply to pre-SORNA offenders at the time of defendant's charged conduct because of the Attorney General's APA violations, the court reversed the district court ruling and vacated the conviction.