Nov 23, 2010 /EIN Presswire/ – With the beginning of a new term, the U.S. Supreme Court decided unanimously to uphold a federal law enforcing higher sentences for criminals carrying guns. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg wrote the 8-0 decision, with newly-appointed justice Elena Kagan recusing herself for working on the case under the Obama Administration.

The case challenged the federal law that required a minimum additional sentence of five years to criminals possessing a weapon during a violent or drug-related crime. The base of the challenge came from language stating that criminals in possession of a gun receive additional time “except to the extent that a greater minimum sentence is otherwise provided.”

Ginsberg’s opinion held that this “except clause” in the federal law only applied when much harsher and longer sentences were given to violators. The Supreme Court will also be taking up two further criminal law cases this term, including another that deals with exclusionary language.

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