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United States v. Sharpnack

355 U.S. 286 (1958)

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United States v. Sharpnack

United States Supreme Court

355 U.S. 286 (1958)

Facts

Federal enclaves are parcels of federal property lying within a state's borders but subject to federal jurisdiction. The 1948 Assimilative Crimes Act (the act) provided that any defendant found guilty of any action not otherwise punishable under federal law, but punishable under either an existing or subsequently enacted law of the surrounding state, would be punished as if he had committed the crime in the surrounding state. The United States government (plaintiff) alleged that Sharpnack (defendant), while within a federal enclave, committed an action, otherwise legal under federal law, that the surrounding state made illegal sometime after Congress enacted the act. The government tried and convicted Sharpnack under state law, and he appealed. Sharpnack's appeal reached the United States Supreme Court, where Sharpnack challenged the act's constitutionality.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Burton, J.)

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