Federal Power Question Likely To Go to the Supreme Court:

I blogged about this question in January, when the Fourth Circuit held unconstitutional 18 U.S.C. § 4248, which “authorizes the federal government to civilly commit, in a federal facility, any ‘sexually dangerous’ person ‘in the custody’ of the Bureau of Prisons — even after that person has completed his entire prison sentence.” The Eighth Circuit has now reached the opposite result, and a circuit split on the constitutionality of a federal statute is almost certain to lead to Supreme Court review. (Note that the Fourth Circuit refused to grant rehearing en banc, and a cert petition in the Fourth Circuit case has already been filed.)

Here’s an excerpt from the Eighth Circuit’s reasoning, which generally strikes me as correct:

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