IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
February 8, 2007
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
CHRISTOPHER B. TAYLOR, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herndon, District Judge
This matter comes before the Court on Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration for New Trial Under Newly Discovered Evidence Challenging Legislative Jurisdiction. (Doc. 272.) Under FEDERAL RULE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE 33, a court "may vacate any judgment and grant a new trial if the interest of justice so requires." FED.R.CRIM.P.33.Concurrent with this motion, Defendant has appealed his case to the Seventh Circuit. "Although a court may not grant a new trial while an appeal is pending, it may entertain the motion and either deny it or, if inclined to grant a new trial, so certify to the court of appeals." United States v. Blankenship, 970 F.2d 283, 285 (1992).
In this case, Defendant moves for a new trial on the grounds that there is newly discovered evidence in this case. Essentially, Defendant argues that the Court lacked jurisdiction over this matter because the drug-related activity Defendant was convicted of occurred on privately-owned property and, therefore, the Federal Government "has no authority to prohibit any activity of the defendant at such location." (Doc. 272, ¶ 9.)
Defendant is gravely mistaken. Under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 3, Congress may regulate interstate activities such as drug trafficking, as it did under 21 U.S.C. § 841. Federal courts, therefore, have jurisdiction over the class of activities regulated by Congress. That is the relevant inquiry. Not where the activities occurred. See Perez v. United States, 402 U.S. 146 (1971). Accordingly, Defendant's motion (Doc. 272) is DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Signed this 8th day of February, 2007.
David R Herndon United States District Judge
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