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Justices Take Up New Cases On Sentencing Under Federal Gun Law

The Supreme Court said Monday that it would take up another dispute involving the oft-litigated Armed Career Criminal Act, this time in relation to frequently changing federal drug laws, reports Bloomberg Law. The law at issue in two new cases a mandatory 15-year minimum for certain firearms offenses in which a defendant previously has been convicted of “serious drug offenses.”

The justices will weigh whether courts should look to drug laws in place at the time of the firearms conviction to determine if a defendant is eligible for the tougher sentence, or whether judges should base rulings on laws in place at the time of the previous drug offenses. In one of case, Justin Rashaad Brown was sentenced to the 15-year minimum even though the U.S. had decriminalized hemp by the time of his firearm conviction. The Biden administration urged the justices to hear arguments on the dispute because federal appeals courts are split on the correct rule to apply.

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