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Gorsuch sides with liberals in shooting down tougher sentences for gun crimes

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President Trump's two Supreme Court picks, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, were on opposing sides once again Monday in a case centering on whether a law that slaps harsher penalties on certain gun possession cases is unconstitutionally vague.

Gorsuch sided with liberal justices in a 5-4 decision in United States v. Davis, for which he wrote the opinion of the court. The law in question calls for longer sentences when a person uses a firearm in connection with a "crime of violence," which is defined as a felony "that by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense." That definition is rather confusing, Gorsuch said.

"Even the government admits that this language ... provides no reliable way to determine which offenses qualify as crimes of violence and thus is unconstitutionally vague," he wrote. Vague laws leave it to unelected attorneys and judges to determine what acts qualify as crimes, Gorsuch said, when it is really Congress' job to make that decision with the laws that they pass.

:snip:

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