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United States v. Castleman
Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in Support of Respondent.
Argument: The Solicitor General’s expansive reading cannot be squared with the manifest intent of Congress. The Solicitor General’s argument proves too much, in that it would expand predicate crimes under §922(g)(9) beyond sensible boundary. The Solicitor General’s reading of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9) is so broad that it would extend a life-long ban on gun possession to anyone convicted of a domestic count of offensive touching, no matter how slight, or of any intentional act that causes bodily injury (including minor scrapes, bruises, or even a stubbed toe). Mr. Castleman’s reading does not turn §922(g)(9) into a dead letter. There is no need to expand federal jurisdiction by making every conviction for “rude touching” or the like a predicate offense in order to honor Congress’s intent with respect to § 922(g)(9). The rule of lenity supports adopting Mr. Castleman’s reading of §922(g)(9).