Posters 'N' Things, Ltd. v. United States

PETITIONER: Posters 'N' Things, Ltd., et al.
RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: Kiryas Joel Village School District

DOCKET NO.: 92-903
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1993-1994)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

CITATION: 511 US 513 (1994)
ARGUED: Oct 05, 1993
DECIDED: May 23, 1994

ADVOCATES:
Alfredo Parrish - on behalf of the Petitioners
William C. Bryson - on behalf of the Respondent

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Posters 'N' Things, Ltd. v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 05, 1993 in Posters 'N' Things, Ltd. v. United States

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - May 23, 1994 in Posters 'N' Things, Ltd. v. United States

Harry A. Blackmun:

I have an opinion to announce in No. 92-903, Posters 'N' Things v. United States.

The cases, which have been around here a while, the case comes to us from the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Petitioners were convicted on a number of charges under a statute known as 21 U.S.C. Section 857.

These included the use of an interstate conveyance as part of the scheme to sell drug paraphernalia.

In searching, petitioner Acty's residence and her business premissest, the officers seize a number of drug related items.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of conviction.

It held that the statute requires proof of scienter and that the Act is not unconstitutionally vague.

In an opinion filed with the Clerk today, we also affirm.

The statute merely establishes objective scienter requirements for determining what constitutes drug paraphernalia.

The statue properly construed.

It requires the government to prove that the defendant knowingly made use of an interstate conveyance as part of a scheme to sell items that he knew were likely to be used with illegal drugs.

It need not prove specific knowledge about the dorms that the items are drug paraphernalia.

Also, the statute is not unconstitutionally vague as applied to the petitioners.

Justice Scalia has filed an opinion concurring in the judgment and is joined therein by Justice Kennedy and Justice Thomas.