OK, y’all. Let’s talk about an important legal principle. The idea of constitutionally vague. The “Vagueness Doctrine” is simply a principle that says because of the 5th and 14th amendments which guarantee due process, the vagueness doctrine require that citizens be given enough information to clearly know what could get their dumb ass landed in jail. You can’t write a law that “might” land you in jail—that’s bullshit. You and I need to know the line we cannot cross and expect to be safe from punishment, and that line should be clear and understandable.
This was famously the argument against Wade, in Roe v. Wade, along with many others, and now it’s what this case is all about. You see, this douchebag Maurice Lamont Davis, and his douchebag buddy Andre Levon Glover decided to rob several Texas gas stations. To make it even more fun, they even took cops on a high speed chase after one robbery.
Firearms law 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), which addresses the penalty has two parts. An elements clause and a residual clause. The case focuses on the residual clause which says:
So, because some of their convictions were in part, due to this clause, they believed that saying there was a substantial risk, is not clearly defined as violence. You’re asking a jury to ask what the offender might have done, versus asking what they did do. And thus, they think that’s vague AF.
SCOTUS gave it a listen, and in a mixed 5:4 majority, with Gorsuch siding with the the left-leaning justices, Davis was given the nod. He’s still going the fuck to jail—his scumbag ass deserves it, but at least it won’t be as bad.
On a side note, Sotomayor mentions congress has a redraft of this statute on the docket. So clearly, even they know they wrote this law shitty AF. But in the meantime, SCOTUS sees fit to tell them they fucked up anyway.
Hear oral arguments, or read about the case here.