On March 26, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its decision in United States v. Castleman. This case involves the federal statute 18 U.S.C § 922(g), which forbids the possession of firearms by anyone convicted of “a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.” 18 U. S. C. §922(g)(9). Here respondent Castleman, who was indicted for a federal firearms offense, had previously pleaded guilty to the state misdemeanor offense of having “intentionally or knowingly cause[d] bodily injury to” the mother of his child. The question before the Court is whether this conviction qualifies as “a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” for purposes of section 922(g)(9).
By a vote of 9-0, the Court held that Castleman's conviction qualifies as a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence for purposes of section 922(g)(9). Justice Sotomayor delivered the opinion of the Court, which was joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kagan. Justice Scalia wrote an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment. Justice Alito also wrote an opinion concurring in the judgment, joined by Justice Thomas joined. The opinion of the Sixth Circuit was reversed and remanded.
To discuss the case, we have Zachary Bolitho, who is an Assistant Professor of Law at the Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law.