Scarborough v. United States

RESPONDENT:United States
LOCATION:Terminal Railroad Association (where Lovasco allegedly stole the firearms from a mail facility)

DOCKET NO.: 75-1344
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

CITATION: 431 US 563 (1977)
ARGUED: Mar 02, 1977
DECIDED: Jun 06, 1977

Philip J. Hirschkop – for petitioner
Richard A. Allen – for respondent

Facts of the case


Media for Scarborough v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – March 02, 1977 in Scarborough v. United States

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – June 06, 1977 in Scarborough v. United States

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion of the Court in 75-1344, Scarborough against the United States and 76-451, Alabama Power Company against Davis will each be announced by Mr. Justice Marshall.

Thurgood Marshall:

In the Scarborough case is a case here on writ of certiorari, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

The case involves the prosecution of a convicted felon for possessing firearms in violation of Title VII of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968.

We granted certiorari to resolve a conflict among the Circuits regarding the statutory of required nexus between the interstate commerce and the possession of the weapon.

The District Court and the Court of Appeals held that the Government met its burden by proving a connection if it demonstrated that the firearm possessed by the felon had previously travelled in the interstate commerce.

In an opinion filed today with the clerk, we affirmed, both the tax and the legislative history of the statute evidenced a congressional intent to outlaw possession broadly and to require no more than the minimal nexus that the possessed firearms have travelled at some time in interstate commerce.

Mr. Justice Stewart has filed a dissenting opinion and Mr. Justice Rehnquist have no part in the consideration or decision of this case.