Bloomberg Law
June 14, 2021, 2:23 PM

Supreme Court Rejects Bid to Shorten Crack Cocaine Sentences (1)

Greg Stohr
Greg Stohr
Bloomberg News

The Supreme Court limited the reach of a 2018 law that retroactively reduced some drug sentences, ruling that it doesn’t apply to potentially hundreds of people convicted of possessing small quantities of crack cocaine.

The unanimous ruling rejects the position taken by the Biden administration and lawmakers from both parties. They said Congress intended for the First Step Act, which sought to address decades-old disparities in sentences for crack and powdered cocaine, to encompass low-level offenders.

But writing for the court, Justice Clarence Thomas said that approach couldn’t be squared with the “clear text” of the law. He said the ...