SCOTUSblog's recent Petitions to Watch post, which lists cases that might be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, includes a case raising constitutional issues with SORNA. The case, which we previously blogged about, is from the Seventh Circuit with an opinion by Judge Posner. You may view the opinion here and the petition for writ of certiorari here. From the "reasons for granting the petition" section:
The Court should settle whether Congress meant SORNA to apply retroactively to persons whose underlying offense and interstate travel both predated enactment of the statute. The Seventh Circuit’s holding on this point conflicts with decisions of other courts of appeals (as the court below acknowledged) and of numerous district courts. And that holding is wrong: It departs from the plain statutory text; misstates the congressional purpose; and disregards the presumptions against retroactivity, and in favor of lenity and the avoidance of constitutional questions, that have been consistently applied by this Court. Review of the decision below accordingly is warranted.
Because the Seventh Circuit decided the question of statutory interpretation as it did, it was required to resolve the important constitutional question whether retroactive application of SORNA’s criminal penalties violates the Ex Post Fact Clause. Its decision on that question also warrants review. The district courts are deeply divided on the question--although the government has managed to suppress creation of a conflict in the courts of appeals by failing to appeal in those cases where it has been unsuccessful. Particularly in light of substantial flaws in the Seventh Circuit’s constitutional analysis, this Court’s guidance on the issue is essential.
While I do think that the USSC should chime in as to SORNA's constitutionality, I'm not sure the Justices will be interested in hearing these particular issues. The Ex Post Facto issue related to travel before the enactment of the AWA will disappear over time and only affects a small number of defendants. Still, the petition bears watching.