The Supreme Court will decide the constitutionality of a federal law that permits sex offenders to be kept behind bars after they complete their prison terms. The justices, acting Monday, say they will consider the Obama administration's appeal of a lower court ruling that invalidated the law. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., ruled in
January that Congress overstepped its authority when it enacted a
law allowing for indefinite commitment of people who are considered
"sexually dangerous." In April, Chief Justice John Roberts granted an administration request to block the release of up to 77 inmates at a federal prison in North Carolina. These were people whose prison terms for sex offenses were ending. The justice's order was designed to allow time for the high court to consider the administration's appeal.