June 29, 2019
In 2010, Andre Haymond was convicted of possessing child pornography and sentenced to 38 months in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release. He was also required to register as a sex offender. While out on parole, Haymond was found in possession of child pornography, and a federal judge, relying on a provision in the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, sent Haymond back to prison for five more years for violating the terms of his supervised release. Haymond appealed, arguing that he had a constitutional right to have his sentence determined by a jury, rather than a judge, beyond a reasonable doubt.
On Wednesday, a divided Supreme Court sided with Haymond.
As has been the case in several end-of-term decisions, the 5-4 decision did not split along traditional ideological lines, as Trump appointee Justice Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion, in which liberal justices Kagan, Sotomayor and Ginsberg joined (the other liberal justice, Justice Breyer, wrote a separate opinion concurring in the holding).
And Gorsuch used surprisingly strong language is chastising the four justices who dissented, writing: