Brett Stuff
Judging the Judges
Term Year: 2018

Herman Avery Gundy, Petitioner v. United States

Summary Analysis

DATE: 2019-06-20
DOCKET: 17-6086
NAME: Herman Avery Gundy, Petitioner v. United States

   AUTHOR: Kagan
   JOINING: Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor
   GOOD: No

OPINION: Concurring
   AUTHOR: Alito
   JOINING: None
   GOOD: Yes

OPINION: Dissenting
   AUTHOR: Gorsuch
   JOINING: Roberts, Thomas
   GOOD: Yes

Case Commentary

As I see it (I being a Non Lawyer and Non Legal Professional, who has very little respect for The Legal System), the relevant parts of the law in question are:
----- shall have the authority to specify the applicability of the requirements of this subchapter... and prescribe rules...

So if that is the situation (call it The Case), the Dissent's point of view boils down to the following out-take (wherein, all internal quotes have been omitted):
A statute that does not contain sufficiently definite and precise standards to enable Congress, the courts, and the public to ascertain whether Congress's guidance has been followed at once presents a delegation problem and provides impermissibly vague guidance to affected citizens.

In short, the law in question should be Voided for Vagueness and is an Impermissible Delegation... you know, in my ever so humble opinion.

Void for Vagueness and Impermissible Delegation being two sides (well, actually, the same side) of the same coin.

In both cases, rather than Congress, some other party is making the law... and that's not allowed by the Constitution.

Impermissible Delegation places the Enforcement and Creation of Laws in the same body... which is generally considered to be a bad thing and prone to abuse.

Judge, Jury, and Executioner all rolled into one. It's not a good thing.

In my opinion the law in question fails (as I am sure so many other laws do) because rather than erecting solid guardrails, it assumes micro-management... and then, punts on the details.

That is to say, rather than instructing to make a dessert... or cake... or a chocolate cake with raspberry filling and floral decorations served on an ivory platter... the law in question (using the metaphor in question) instructs the chef to prepare such additional food as they see fit and as may be required... which is a bit vague.

Personally, I'd be happy with the level of detail ending at dessert.

But we live in a world where the conception of dessert will be argued to death. After all, where does 'dessert' begin and where does it end. What is the proper serving size of a 'dessert'? Serving temperature? And so on and so forth, for ever and ever and ever.

And for the most, the courts have been willing to play this game.

Loopholes are found.

Loopholes are closed.

But in the process, Justice is squeezed out.

The law in question concerns the Registration of Sex Offenders.

As defined, there are a half million odd Sex Offenders in the United States in need of Registration.

It seems a bit high to me.

I am sure (though I could be wrong) that I would consider a mere 1-10% of those labelled as Sex Offenders to be in need of Registration... quite possibly less.

Do you remember POW/MIA? Well, the real category (as I am led to believe, please do your own research) was POW/MIA/MIA-PD, but that's a bit wordy... and doesn't have the same emotional impact.
So, I'm all for liberating any Prisoners of War. But no one (and I mean no one) who knows the details (or who was there) believes the guy who was vaporized (and I do mean vaporized) by heavy munitions is still alive.

And so, lumping them all together in the same category is misleading.

Further (as I understand it), the wife and dependants of a POW/MIA/MIA-PD can draw benefits as long as their husband and/or daddy might still be alive (i.e. is classified as POW/MIA/MIA-PD and not DEAD). And as such, there is a very real financial incentive to look the other way and take as long as possible to clear the books.

I mean, wouldn't you want your buddies to take care of your family for as long as possible?

{NOTE: When it comes to data, one will always be best served by finding the raw stuff. So, please do your own research. Sure, both of these examples are as I see it. But then, my eyesight sucks. And I am often wrong.}

Child Abductions are horrible things... or can be. Unfortunately, the statistics for Child Abductions in this country are misleading... or so I will claim.

It turns out the overwhelming majority of Child Abductors in this Country LOVE the child they are abducting and are either a parent, grandparent, or primary (but not the legal) caregiver of said child.

It's mommy taking the kids from daddy.

It's daddy taking the kids from mommy.

And it's the grandparents refusing to return their grandchildren to the custody of their parents, because the last time they showed up for a visit unannounced, mommy and daddy were passed out cold with needles sticking out of their arms.

Not every case is so clear cut or benign.

After all, it's easy to imagine grandma and grandpa, rescuing the kids from what they perceive as cult-like conditions... or because they themselves are members of a much more established Mainstream Religious Cult to which the child's parents do not adhere... if you catch my drift.

So, it can get hazy.

More importantly, I no longer trust Government Statistics. Heck, I no longer trust The Government.

So, I question how many Sex Offenders are of the type I would consider Dangerous.

I'm guessing is much less than 500,000 and is closer to 50,000 or 5,000.

And more importantly, we have a Parole System in this Country.

Does it not work?

And if it does work, why would we need anything other than the existing Parole System for Sex Offenders?

Gorsuch wrote the Dissent. He was right. Both Thomas and Roberts agreed. So, hey. This is a good example of why I have found Thomas to be so compelling in the past.

Alito Concurs (with The Court's Bad Decision). But at least he makes the point that this law is constructed in the same manner (the same loosey-goosey way) as many other laws and...
It would be freakish to single out the provision at issue here for special treatment

But then, I believe we have way too many laws that are overly vague; and as such, are Unconstitutional.

I say void them all... for Vagueness, for Impermissible Delegation, for any reason, and for every reason.

And only those laws which Congress is willing to re-implement in accordance with the Constitution had merit; and as such, are the only ones that should have been laws in the first place.

Judging the Judges

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At this point, I sincerely doubt one can serve in Government and not be guilty of Treason... or at least, turning their back on the Constitution.

© copyright 2019 Brett Paufler
A Personal Opinion/Editorial