Earlier this year, in United States v. Comstock, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that portions of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, enacted in 2006, exceeded the scope of Congress commerce clause power. Specifically, the court held that the commerce power could not be used to civilly commit a "sexually dangerous person" in federal prison once that individual has completed his entire priison sentence. Eugene and Ilya blogged on the decision here.
Yesterday, SCOTUSBlog reports, Chief Justice Roberts stayed the implementation of the Fourth Circuit's holding — delaying the release of the sex offenders who had challenged the law — pending consideration of the government's petition for certiorari. Like Eugene, I expect this case will go up. If so, it will be a critically important case, as it could determine whether any limits of the scope of federal power remain after Gonzales v. Raich.