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United States v. Safehouse

3rd Circuit

January 12, 2021

Since taking office in 2018, United States Attorney William McSwain has not been shy about taking stances in opposition to state and local officials. In United States v. Safehouse, the Third Circuit sided with Mr. McSwain in what might be his final battle as United States Attorney. Judge Bibas issued the majority opinion. In short, the Court held that 21 U.S.C. ยง 856 (maintaining drug-involved premises) — passed to target crack-houses — applied to Philadelphia’s attempt to open the nation’s first safe-injection site. In Judge Bibas’s thorough, 40-page opinion, nary a word of criticism for the project can be found. Clearly, the Court found the project laudable. According to the Court, the conclusion was mandated, as Congress had clearly acted to prohibit such conduct.

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