Published on: Monday, February 25, 2019

Today, in Franklin v. United States, Case No. 17-8401 (Feb. 25, 2019), the Supreme Court granted a petition for writ of certiorari, vacated the lower court judgment, and remanded the case to the Eleventh Circuit in light of the position asserted by the Solicitor General in his brief for the United States filed on July 6, 2018. The issue before the Court was whether the Eleventh Circuit erred in holding a Florida conviction for battery on a law enforcement officer categorically requires the use of “violent force” as defined in Johnson v. United States, 559 U.S. 133 (2010).

In its July 6, 2018 brief, the Solicitor General conceded that the Petitioner’s Florida battery conviction was not a violent felony under the Armed Career Criminal Act’s elements clause. The Solicitor General acknowledged that Johnson foreclosed the issue – that a touching or striking battery does not categorically require the use of violent force. Further, the Solicitor General conceded that the offense of a “touching or striking” battery is not divisible because “touching” and “striking” refer to alternative ways to commit a single offense.

Merits briefing is available on the Supreme Court’s website, here. The Training Division provides sentencing resources specifically on firearm offenses and enhancements for crimes of violence and violent felonies to help you argue for the best possible sentence for your client.