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Scarborough v. United States, 431 U.S. 563 (1977)

Scarborough v. United States

No. 75-1344

Argued March 2, 1977

Decided June 6, 1977

431 U.S. 563


In a prosecution for possession of a firearm in violation of the provision of Title VII of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C.App. § 1202(a), making it a crime for a convicted felon to possess "in commerce or affecting commerce" any firearm, proof that the possessed firearm previously traveled at some time in interstate commerce held sufficient to satisfy the statutorily required nexus between possession and commerce. This is so, where, as in this case, the firearm in question traveled in interstate commerce before the accused became a convicted felon; the nexus need not be "contemporaneous" with the possession. Both the text and legislative history of the statute show a congressional intent to require no more than the minimal nexus that the firearm have been, at some time, in interstate commerce and to outlaw possession broadly, with little concern for when the nexus with commerce occurred. Pp. 431 U. S. 567-577.

539 F.2d 331, affirmed.

MARSHALL, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and BRENNAN, WHITE, BLACKMUN, POWELL, and STEVENS, JJ., joined. STEWART, J., filed a dissenting opinion, post, p. 431 U. S. 578. REHNQUIST, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

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