Thursday, September 18, 2014

United States v. Garcia, No. 12-10189 (Rawlinson with Tallman & Garbis (D. Md.) ---

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a conviction for using a pipe bomb to damage an SUV and an apartment building, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 844(i), holding that the Supreme Court's per se rule that damage to a rental apartment building automatically supplies jurisdiction under the Commerce Clause, see Russell v. United States, 471 U.S. 858 (1985), was not abrogated by the decision in United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000).  There was testimony at the trial that the SUV was manufactured in Wisconsin and that people sometimes traveled from out of state to rent apartments in the building.  The bomb thus damaged things that affected interstate commerce.  Thus the evidence was sufficient to sustain the conviction, the jury instructions based on the per se rule were proper, and Russell foreclosed the defendant's facial challenge to § 844(i).

The decision is here:


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