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US Supreme Court to Decide Civil Comittment

June 23, 2009

Reuters.com : US Supreme Court to Decide Federal Civil Commitment Law.

The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that it would decide whether Congress may adopt a federal law that keeps sex offenders in custody indefinitely after they complete their prison sentences.

The high court agreed to hear an Obama administration appeal seeking to reinstate a 2006 law providing for the continued detention of “sexually dangerous” convicted federal inmates who have served their prison terms. (Obama wants to lock these people up indefinitely after they have completed their sentences).

A U.S. appeals court based in Virginia struck down the law for exceeding the limits of congressional authority and intruding on police powers Constitution reserves for the states, many of which have similar laws.

The law had been challenged by five inmates who had been kept in custody at a federal prison hospital in North Carolina after their sentences ended.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments and issue its ruling in the case during its upcoming term that begins in October.

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