Scotus Blog: Reynolds v. United States

In the Reynolds vs. United States the issue was about sex offender registration an d notification Act (SORNA) which congress enacted in 2006. This law was designed to create a nationwide system to keep track of all different sex offenders that committed crimes in the past. When congress decided to do this they hoped to prevent a situation in which a sex offenders convicted in one location could then move to another state another state, where neither police nor his new neighbors would he aware of their history if they were registered sex offenders.

In 2001 Billy Joe Reynolds was convicted of a sex crime in Missouri and served four years in prison. Then when he was released, he registered as a sex offender in Missouri, but he didn't  do it with authorities in Pennsylvania when he moved there in 2007. A couple of months later Reynolds was charged with violating SORNA's requirements. When he went to go argue his case in the lower court they refused to even consider his challenge.  Now Reynolds is being held in violation of the federal constitution. The court was divided on that issue. The U.S. Solicitor General urged the Court to deny review of Reynolds' petition.