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Supreme Court Takes Cases Addressing 5th Amendment Right Against Self-Incrimination, SORNA, and Hobbs Act Interpretation of Property

On Friday, January 11, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in three cases of interest to federal criminal defense practitioners: Salinas v. Texas (No. 12-246); United States v. Kebodeaux (No. 12-418); and Sekhar v. United States (No. 12-357).

In Salinas the question presented is "Whether or under what circumstances the Fifth Amendment's self-incrimination clause protects a defendant's refusal to answer law enforcement questioning before he has been arrested or read his Miranda rights."

In Kebodeax the Court will address two questions: (1) "Whether the court of appeals erred in conducting its constitutional analysis on the premise that respondent was not under a federal registration obligation until SORNA was enacted, when pre-SORNA federal law obligated him to register as a sex offender."  (2) "Whether the court of appeals erred in holding that Congress lacks the Article I authority to provide for criminal penalties under 18 U.S.C. 2250(a)(2)(A), as applied to a person who was convicted of a sex offense under federal law and completed his criminal sentence before SORNA was enacted."

The question presented in Sekhar is: "Whether the 'recommendation' of an attorney, who is a salaried employee of a governmental agency, in a single instance, is intangible property that can be the subject of an extortion attempt under 18 U.S.C. §1951(a)(the Hobbs Act) and 18 U.S.C. §875(d)."

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