Justices Say Guilty Pleas Don't Stop Constitutional Claims

Law360, New York (February 21, 2018, 10:21 AM EST) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled 6-3 that criminal defendants can challenge the constitutionality of laws they already pled guilty to breaking if they didn't explicitly waive the right to do so.

The ruling sided with Rodney Class, a retired veteran who pled guilty to bringing a firearm onto U.S. Capitol grounds in 2013 but later questioned the law's validity under the Second Amendment. The U.S. Department of Justice argued that Class' plea inherently waived his access to that kind of appeal, since he didn't negotiate a deal that expressly allowed for it.

"Class did not relinquish his right to appeal...

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