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United States v. Johnson

Citation: 12 ELR 21115
No. No. 81-1019, 685 F.2d 337/(9th Cir., 08/26/1982)

The court upholds the constitutionality of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act as applied to appellant's conviction for illegally removing a wild free-roaming horse from the public lands. The court rules that the definition of the category of horses protected by the statute, "unbranded and unclaimed horses," is not unconstitutionally vague. The record clearly demonstrates that appellant knew that the horse in question fit the statutory definition. That there might be problems with the definition of "unclaimed" in other circumstances does not require that the statute be struck down for vagueness. Nor is there merit in appellant's arguments that the statute encourages arbitrary conduct by those who enforce it and that it is constitutionally overbroad.

Counsel for Appellant
David R. Gamble
Smith & Gamble
502 N. Division St., Carson City NV 89701
(702) 883-3200

Counsel for Appellee
Edward R. J. Kane, Ass't U.S. Attorney
300 Booth St., Suite 2032, Reno NV 89509
(702) 784-5439

Before WISDOM,* DUNIWAY, and NORRIS, Circuit Judges.