United States v Nichols

Nichols moved for en banc review of the panela decision affirming his conviction for failing to update his sex offender registration when moved to the Philippines. The Court, 8-4, denied his motion. Judge Lucero field a dissent arguing that the panel decision creates a circuit split which undermines congressional intent to have a uniform system of sex offender registration. Judge Gorsuch filed a dissent arguing that SONRA’s delegation to the Attorney General the decision of whether to apply SONRA retroactively violates the separation of powers as Congress may not tell the executive branch to determine criminal law without at least cabining the discretion with intelligible principals and having executive fact finding trigger explicit legislative consequences and SONRA has exactly zero guidance as to how to determine whether or not to retroactively apply the statute.

Havens v Johnson

Havens sued Johnson under 42 USC 1983 alleging excessive force when Johnson shot him. The district court granted summary judgment to Johnson based on failure to state a claim for excessive force and qualified immunity. The panel affirmed on different grounds. It held that because Havens theory is he did nothing wrong and thus should not have been shot and this necessarily would be inconsistent with his Alford plea to attempted assault based on gunning a car engine in preparation to flee and potentially run Johnson over. As this kind of suit is barred by United States Supreme Court precedent, judgment must be affirmed. Two judges held the Alford plea did not change the analysis and one judge argued the Alford plea may not have preclusive effects in Colorado.