CHARLESTON, S.C. – A judge has ordered the federal government to show what the shooting of nine black parishioners at a Charleston church has to do with interstate commerce.
Dylann Roof, who is white, is charged with 33 counts, including hate crimes, in the June 2015 shootings at Emanuel AME Church. Twelve of those counts allege tjat the crimes affected interstate commerce.
The defense — which contends the use of the internet and a gun made outside South Carolina are the only possible links — wants the government to outline how those counts affected commerce.
U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel, in a Thursday order, told prosecutors to do so.
The defense, challenging the constitutionality of the federal hate crimes law, wants the case dismissed. A hearing in the case is set for Monday.