House Passes Bill to Amend the Federal 'Crime of Violence' Definition [October 11, 2018] [open pdf - 505KB]
"Recently the House passed the Community Safety and Security Act of 2018 (CSSA), which would amend the federal 'crime of violence' (COV) definition found at 18 U.S.C. § 16. Many federal statutes incorporate that definition for various purposes, including describing elements of certain criminal offenses, imposing enhanced prison sentences, or subjecting offenders to other penalties. The two-pronged COV definition at 18 U.S.C. § 16 covers (1) an offense that has as an element the actual, attempted, or threatened 'use of physical force' or (2) any felony offense that involves a 'substantial risk' of physical force. In 'Sessions v. Dimaya,' the Supreme Court struck down the definition's second prong on vagueness grounds, narrowing the scope of criminal offenses qualifying as COVs. In response to the Court's decision, the House passed the CSSA, which would retain the COV definition's first prong, but also amend that definition to include many enumerated criminal offenses. Because the CSSA adds to the range of conduct covered by the COV definition, the bill's enactment may broaden the scope of various laws incorporating that definition."
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10203
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/