No Delegation of Legislative Function to Another State

State v. Reynolds No. 51630-6 (February 4, 2020), Washington Court of Appeals, Division Two

Brief: The defendant’s conviction of failure to register as a sex offender was improper because RCW 9A.44.128(10)(h) was an unconstitutional delegation of the legislative function insofar it allowed another state’s legislature to define an element of the crime of failure to register as a sex offender. The legislature could not delegate to another entity the ability to determine what constituted a crime in Washington.

Translation: Washington law specifies certain convictions where one must register as a sex offender. Only Washington law can dictate which convictions require registration. For example, a California law requiring registration for a California conviction cannot be construed to then require the person to also register in Washington if they were never required to under Washington law.

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