Luce (defendant) was charged with crimes related to his possession of cocaine. He filed a motion in limine to attempt to exclude evidence of a prior drug possession conviction if he decided to testify. Luce did not commit to testifying, nor did he proffer what he would testify about. The United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee denied the motion, finding that the evidence of the prior drug possession conviction fell within the category of admissible impeachment evidence under Rule 609(a)(1). Possibly because of this ruling, Luce did not testify at trial. The jury found him guilty. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.