Brief filed: 10/28/2013
United States v. Apel
United States Supreme Court; Case No. 12-1038
Decision below 676 F.3d 1202 (9th Cir. 2012).
The government’s interpretation of 18 U.S.C. §1382 would render the statute unconstitutionally overbroad. A statute is facially overbroad when there is a realistic danger that it will significantly compromise speech rights. The government’s new interpretation of Section 1382 would (i) extend existing military regulations onto public roads, thereby infringing on a substantial amount of protected speech in a public forum and (ii) authorize base commanders to promulgate new military regulations that could further restrict protected speech on public roads. The government’s interpretation of 18 U.S.C. §1382 encourages arbitrary enforcement by the government, even against civilians who lack notice of how the law is applied. The government’s interpretation of 18 U.S.C. §1382 should be rejected under the rule of lenity.
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