Bloomberg Law
Feb. 27, 2023, 2:35 PM

Justices to Hear First Step Act Prior Criminal History Dispute

Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson
Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson

The US Supreme Court agreed to take up another case involving the 2018 First Step Act, this one on a provision allowing judges to sentence certain low-level, nonviolent defendants under the statutory minimum.

The question raised in the appeal that the justices agreed to hear Monday centers on prior criminal history, particularly whether defendants must show that they lack one, or show that they don’t meet all of the disqualifying factors relating to prior convictions.

Mark Pulsifer argues that he’s only ineligible to receive a lower sentence for distributing methamphetamine if he has all of the disqualifying factors. The government ...