NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the preliminary print of the United States Reports. Readers are requested to notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Washington, D. C. 20543, of any typographical or other formal errors, in order that corrections may be made before the preliminary print goes to press.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
JORGE LUNA TORRES, PETITIONER v.
LORETTA E. LYNCH, ATTORNEY GENERAL
on writ of certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the second circuit
[May 19, 2016]
Justice Kagan delivered the opinion of the Court.
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA or Act) imposes certain adverse immigration consequences on an alien convicted of an “aggravated felony.” The INA defines that term by listing various crimes, most of which are identified as offenses “described in” specified provisions of the federal criminal code. Immediately following that list, the Act provides that the referenced offenses are aggravated felonies irrespective of whether they are “in violation of Federal[,] State[,]” or foreign law.
8 U. S. C. §1101(a)(43). In this case, we must decide if a state crime counts as an aggravated felony when it corresponds to a specified federal offense in all ways but one—namely, the state crime lacks the interstate commerce element used in the federal statute to establish legislative jurisdiction (i.e.,
Congress’s power to enact the law). We hold that the absence of such a jurisdictional element is immaterial: A state crime of that kind is an aggravated felony.
The INA makes any alien convicted of an “aggravated felony” after entering the United States deportable. See §1227(a)(2)(A)(iii). Such an alien is also ineligible for several forms of discretionary relief, including cancellation of removal—an order allowing a deportable alien to remain in the country. See §1229b(a)(3). And because of his felony, the alien faces expedited removal proceedings. See §1228(a)(3)(A).
The Act defines the term “aggravated felony” by way of a long list of offenses, now codified at §1101(a)(43). In all, that provision’s 21 subparagraphs enumerate some 80 different crimes. In more than half of those subparagraphs, Congress specified the crimes by citing particular federal statutes. According to that common formulation, an offense is an aggravated felony if it is “described in,” say,
18 U. S. C. §2251 (relating to child pornography), §922(g) (relating to unlawful gun possession), or, of particular relevance here, §844(i) (relating to arson and explosives). 8 U. S. C. §§1101(a)(43)(E), (I). Most of the remaining subparagraphs refer to crimes by their generic labels, stating that an offense is an aggravated felony if, for example, it is “murder, rape, or sexual abuse of a minor.” §1101(a)(43)(A). Following the entire list of crimes, §1101(a)(43)’s penultimate sentence reads: “The term [aggravated felony] applies to an offense described in this paragraph whether in violation of Federal or State law and applies to such an offense in violation of the law of a foreign country for which the term of imprisonment was completed within the previous 15 years.” So, putting aside the 15-year curlicue, the penultimate sentence provides that an offense listed in §1101(a)(43) is an aggravated felony whether in violation of federal, state, or foreign law.
Petitioner Jorge Luna Torres, who goes by the name George Luna, immigrated to the United States as a child and has lived here ever since as a lawful permanent resident. In 1999, he pleaded guilty to attempted arson in the third degree, in violation of New York law; he was sentenced to one day in prison and five years of probation. Seven years later, immigration officials discovered his conviction and initiated proceedings to remove him from the country. During those proceedings, Luna applied for cancellation of removal. But the Immigration Judge found him ineligible for that discretionary relief because his arson conviction qualified as an aggravated felony. See App. to Pet. for Cert. 21a–22a.
The Board of Immigration Appeals (Board) affirmed, based on a comparison of the federal and New York arson statutes. See id.,
at 15a–17a. The INA, as just noted, provides that “an offense described in”
18 U. S. C. §844(i), the federal arson and explosives statute, is an aggravated felony. Section 844(i), in turn, makes it a crime to “maliciously damage[ ] or destroy[ ], or attempt[ ] to damage or destroy, by means of fire or an explosive, any building [or] vehicle . . . used in interstate or foreign commerce or in any activity affecting interstate or foreign commerce.” For its part, the New York law that Luna was convicted under prohibits “intentionally damag[ing],” or attempting to damage, “a building or motor vehicle by starting a fire or causing an explosion.” N. Y. Penal Law Ann. §§110, 150.10 (West 2010). The state law, the Board explained, thus matches the federal statute element-for-element with one exception: The New York law does not require a connection to interstate commerce. According to the Board, that single difference did not matter because the federal statute’s commerce element is “jurisdictional”—that is, its function is to establish Congress’s power to legislate. See App. to Pet for Cert. 16a–17a. Given that the two laws’ substantive (i.e.,
non-jurisdictional) elements map onto each other, the Board held, the New York arson offense is “described in”
18 U. S. C. §844(i).
The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied Luna’s petition for review of the Board’s ruling. See 764 F. 3d 152 (2014). The court’s decision added to a Circuit split over whether a state offense is an aggravated felony when it has all the elements of a listed federal crime except one requiring a connection to interstate commerce.[1
] We granted certiorari. 576 U. S. ___ (2015).
The issue in this case arises because of the distinctive role interstate commerce elements play in federal criminal law. In our federal system, “Congress cannot punish felonies generally,” Cohens
, 6 Wheat. 264, 428 (1821); it may enact only those criminal laws that are connected to one of its constitutionally enumerated powers, such as the authority to regulate interstate commerce. As a result, most federal offenses include, in addition to substantive elements, a jurisdictional one, like the interstate commerce requirement of §844(i). The substantive elements “primarily define[ ] the behavior that the statute calls a ‘violation’ of federal law,” Scheidler
v. National Organization for Women, Inc.
547 U. S. 9,
—or, as the Model Penal Code puts the point, they relate to “the harm or evil” the law seeks to prevent, §1.13(10). The jurisdictional element, by contrast, ties the substantive offense (here, arson) to one of Congress’s constitutional powers (here, its authority over interstate commerce), thus spelling out the warrant for Congress to legislate. See id.,
at 17–18 (explaining that Congress intends “such statu-tory terms as ‘affect commerce’ or ‘in commerce’ . . . as terms of art connecting the congressional exercise of legislative authority with the constitutional provision (here, the Commerce Clause) that grants Congress that authority”).
For obvious reasons, state criminal laws do not include the jurisdictional elements common in federal statutes.[2
] State legislatures, exercising their plenary police powers, are not limited to Congress’s enumerated powers; and so States have no reason to tie their substantive offenses to those grants of authority. See, e.g., United States
514 U. S. 549,
. In particular, state crimes do not contain interstate commerce elements because a State does not need such a jurisdictional hook. Accordingly, even state offenses whose substantive elements match up exactly with a federal law’s will part ways with respect to interstate commerce. That slight discrepancy creates the issue here: If a state offense lacks an interstate commerce element but otherwise mirrors one of the federal statutes listed in §1101(a)(43), does the state crime count as an aggravated felony? Or, alternatively, does the jurisdictional difference reflected in the state and federal laws preclude that result, no matter the laws’ substantive correspondence?
Both parties begin with the statutory text most directly at issue, disputing when a state offense (here, arson) is “described in” an enumerated federal statute (here,
18 U. S. C. §844(i)). Luna, armed principally with Black’s Law Dictionary, argues that “described in” means “expressed” or “set forth” in—which, he says, requires the state offense to include each one of the federal law’s elements. Brief for Petitioner 15–16.[3
] The Government, brandishing dictionaries of its own, contends that the statutory phrase has a looser meaning—that “describing entails . . . not precise replication,” but “convey[ance of ] an idea or impression” or of a thing’s “central features.” Brief for Respondent 17.[4
] On that view, “described in,” as opposed to the more precise “defined in” sometimes found in statutes, denotes that the state offense need only incorporate the federal law’s core, substantive elements.
But neither of those claims about the bare term “described in” can resolve this case. Like many words, “describe” takes on different meanings in different contexts. Consider two ways in which this Court has used the word. In one case, “describe” conveyed exactness: A contractual provision, we wrote, “describes the subject [matter] with great particularity[,] . . . giv[ing] the precise number of pounds [of tobacco], the tax for which each pound was liable, and the aggregate of the tax.” Ryan
v. United States
, 19 Wall. 514, 517 (1874). In another case, not: “The disclosure provision is meant,” we stated, “to describe the law to consumers in a manner that is concise and comprehensible to the layman—which necessarily means that it will be imprecise.” CompuCredit Corp.
565 U. S. 95,
. So staring at, or even looking up, the words “described in” cannot answer whether a state offense must replicate every last element of a listed federal statute, including its jurisdictional one, to qualify as an aggravated felony. In considering that issue, we must, as usual, “interpret the relevant words not in a vacuum, but with reference to the statutory context.” Abramski
v. United States
, 573 U. S. ___, ___ (2014) (slip op., at 9).[5
Here, two contextual considerations decide the matter. The first is §1101(a)(43)’s penultimate sentence, which shows that Congress meant the term “aggravated felony” to capture serious crimes regardless of whether they are prohibited by federal, state, or foreign law. The second is a well-established background principle distinguishing between substantive and jurisdictional elements in federal criminal statutes. We address each factor in turn.
Section 1101(a)(43)’s penultimate sentence, as noted above, provides: “The term [aggravated felony] applies to an offense described in this paragraph whether in violation of Federal or State law and applies to such an offense in violation of the law of a foreign country for which the term of imprisonment was completed within the previous 15 years.” See supra,
at 2. That sentence (except for the time limit on foreign convictions) declares the source of criminal law irrelevant: The listed offenses count as aggravated felonies regardless of whether they are made illegal by the Federal Government, a State, or a foreign country. That is true of the crimes identified by reference to federal statutes (as here, an offense described in
18 U. S. C. §844(i)), as well as those employing generic labels (for example, murder). As even Luna recognizes, state and foreign analogues of the enumerated federal crimes qual-ify as aggravated felonies. See Brief for Petitioner 21 (contesting only what properly counts as such an analogue). The whole point of §1101(a)(43)’s penultimate sentence is to make clear that a listed offense should lead to swift removal, no matter whether it violates federal, state, or foreign law.
Luna’s jot-for-jot view of “described in” would substantially undercut that function by excluding from the Act’s coverage all state and foreign versions of any enumerated federal offense that (like §844(i)) contains an interstate commerce element. Such an element appears in about half of §1101(a)(43)’s listed statutes—defining, altogether, 27 serious crimes.[6
] Yet under Luna’s reading, only those federal crimes, and not their state and foreign counterparts, would provide a basis for an alien’s removal—because, as explained earlier, only Congress must ever show a link to interstate commerce. See supra,
at 4–5. No state or foreign legislature needs to incorporate a commerce element to establish its jurisdiction, and so none ever does. Accordingly, state and foreign crimes will never precisely replicate a federal statute containing a commerce element. And that means, contrary to §1101(a)(43)’s penultimate sentence, that the term “aggravated felony” would not
apply to many of the Act’s listed offenses irrespective of whether they are “in violation of Federal[,] State[, or foreign] law”; instead, that term would apply exclusively to the federal variants.[7
Indeed, Luna’s view would limit the penultimate sentence’s effect in a peculiarly perverse fashion—excluding state and foreign convictions for many of the gravest crimes listed in §1101(a)(43), while reaching those convictions for less harmful offenses. Consider some of the state and foreign crimes that would not count as aggravated felonies on Luna’s reading because the corresponding federal law has a commerce element: most child pornography offenses, including selling a child for the purpose of manufacturing such material, see §1101(a)(43)(I); demanding or receiving a ransom for kidnapping, see §1101(a)(43)(H); and possessing a firearm after a felony conviction, see §1101(a)(43)(E)(ii). Conversely, the term “aggravated felony” in Luna’s world would include state and foreign convictions for such comparatively minor offenses as operating an unlawful gambling business, see §1101(a)(43)(J), and possessing a firearm not identified by a serial number, see §1101(a)(43)(E)(iii), because Congress chose, for whatever reason, not to use a commerce element when barring that conduct. And similarly, the term would cover any state or foreign conviction for such nonviolent activity as receiving stolen property, see §1101(a)(43)(G), or forging documents, see §1101(a)(43)(R), because the INA happens to use generic labels to describe those crimes. This Court has previously refused to construe §1101(a)(43) so as to produce such “haphazard”—indeed, upside-down—coverage. Nijhawan
557 U. S. 29,
. We see no reason to follow a different path here: Congress would not have placed an alien convicted by a State of running an illegal casino at greater risk of removal than one found guilty under the same State’s law of selling a child.[8
In an attempt to make some sense of his reading, Luna posits that Congress might have believed that crimes having an interstate connection are generally more serious than those lacking one—for example, that interstate child pornography is “worse” than the intrastate variety. Brief for Petitioner 35. But to begin with, that theory cannot explain the set of crazy-quilt results just described: Not even Luna maintains that Congress thought local acts of selling a child, receiving explosives, or demanding a ransom are categorically less serious than, say, operating an unlawful casino or receiving stolen property (whether or not in interstate commerce). And it is scarcely more plausible to view an interstate commerce element in any given offense as separating serious from non-serious conduct: Why, for example, would Congress see an alien who carried out a kidnapping for ransom wholly within a State as materially less dangerous than one who crossed state lines in committing that crime? The essential harm of the crime is the same irrespective of state borders. Luna’s argument thus misconceives the function of interstate commerce elements: Rather than distinguishing greater from lesser evils, they serve (as earlier explained) to connect a given substantive offense to one of Congress’s enumerated powers. See supra,
at 4–5. And still more fundamentally, Luna’s account runs counter to the penultimate sentence’s central message: that the national, local, or foreign character of a crime has no bearing on whether it is grave enough to warrant an alien’s automatic removal.[9
Luna (and the dissent, see post,
at 6) must therefore fall back on a different defense: that his approach would exclude from the universe of aggravated felonies fewer serious state and foreign offenses than one might think. To make that argument, Luna relies primarily on a part of the Act specifying that the term “aggravated felony” shall include “a crime of violence (as defined in [
18 U. S. C. §16]) for which the term of imprisonment [is] at least one year.” §1101(a)(43)(F); see
18 U. S. C. §16 (defining “crime of violence” as involving the use of “physical force” against the person or property of another). According to Luna, many state and foreign offenses failing to match the Act’s listed federal statutes (for want of an interstate commerce element) would count as crimes of violence and, by that alternative route, trigger automatic removal. A different statutory phrase, or so Luna says, would thus plug the holes opened by his construction of the “described in” provisions.
Luna’s argument does not reassure us. We agree that state counterparts of some enumerated federal offenses would qualify as aggravated felonies through the “crime of violence” provision. But not nearly all such offenses, and not even the worst ones. Consider again some of the listed offenses described earlier. See supra,
at 10. The “crime of violence” provision would not pick up demanding a ransom for kidnapping. See
18 U. S. C. §875(a) (defining the crime without any reference to physical force). It would not cover most of the listed child pornography offenses, involving the distribution, receipt, and possession of such materials. It would not reach felon-in-possession laws and other firearms offenses. And indeed, it would not reach arson in the many States defining that crime to include the destruction of one’s own property. See Jordison
, 501 F. 3d 1134, 1135 (CA9 2007) (holding that a violation of California’s arson statute does not count as a crime of violence for that reason);
Tr. of Oral Arg. 28–29 (Solicitor General agreeing with that interpretation).[10
] So under Luna’s reading, state and foreign counterparts to a broad swath of listed statutes would remain outside §1101(a)(43)’s coverage merely because they lack an explicit interstate commerce connection. And for all the reasons discussed above, that result would significantly restrict the penultimate sentence’s force and effect, and in an utterly random manner.[11
Just as important, a settled practice of distinguishing between substantive and jurisdictional elements of federal criminal laws supports reading §1101(a)(43) to include state analogues lacking an interstate commerce requirement. As already explained, the substantive elements of a federal statute describe the evil Congress seeks to prevent; the jurisdictional element connects the law to one of Congress’s enumerated powers, thus establishing legislative authority. See supra,
at 4–5; ALI, Model Penal Code §1.13(10) (1962). Both kinds of elements must be proved to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt; and because that is so, both may play a real role in a criminal case. But still, they are not created equal for every purpose. To the contrary, courts have often recognized—including when comparing federal and state offenses—that Congress uses substantive and jurisdictional elements for different reasons and does not expect them to receive identical treatment.
Consider the law respecting mens rea
. In general, courts interpret criminal statutes to require that a defendant possess a mens rea
, or guilty mind, as to every element of an offense. See Elonis
v. United States
, 575 U. S. ___, ___ (2015) (slip op., at 10). That is so even when the “statute by its terms does not contain” any demand of that kind. United States
v. X-Citement Video, Inc.
513 U. S. 64,
. In such cases, courts read the statute against a “background rule” that the defendant must know each fact making his conduct illegal. Staples
v. United States
511 U. S. 600,
. Or otherwise said, they infer, absent an express indication to the contrary, that Congress intended such a mental-state requirement.
Except when it comes to jurisdictional elements. There, this Court has stated, “the existence of the fact that confers federal jurisdiction need not be one in the mind of the actor at the time he perpetrates the act made criminal by the federal statute.” United States
420 U. S. 671,
; see United States
468 U. S. 63,
(“Jurisdictional language need not contain the same culpability requirement as other elements of the offense”); Model Penal Code §2.02. So when Congress has said nothing about the mental state pertaining to a jurisdictional element, the default rule flips: Courts assume that Congress wanted such an element to stand outside the otherwise applicable mens rea
requirement. In line with that practice, courts have routinely held that a criminal defendant need not know of a federal crime’s interstate commerce connection to be found guilty. See, e.g.
, United States
, 725 F. 3d 954, 964–966 (CA9 2013); United States
, 85 F. 3d 1232, 1241 (CA7 1996); United States
, 839 F. 2d 900, 907 (CA2 1988). Those courts have recognized, as we do here, that Congress viewed the commerce element as distinct from, and subject to a different rule than, the elements describing the substantive offense.
Still more strikingly, courts have distinguished between the two kinds of elements in contexts, similar to this one, in which the judicial task is to compare federal and state offenses. The Assimilative Crimes Act (ACA),
18 U. S. C. §13(a), subjects federal enclaves, like military bases, to state criminal laws except when they punish the same conduct as a federal statute. The ACA thus requires courts to decide when a federal and a state law are sufficiently alike that only the federal one will apply. And we have held that, in making that assessment, courts should ignore jurisdictional elements: When the “differences among elements” of the state and federal crimes “reflect jurisdictional, or other technical, considerations” alone, then the state law will have no effect in the area. Lewis
v. United States
523 U. S. 155,
; see also id.
, at 182 (Kennedy, J., dissenting) (agreeing that courts should “look beyond . . . jurisdictional elements,” and focus only on substantive ones, in determining whether “the elements of the two crimes are the same”). In such a case, we reasoned—just as we do now—that Congress meant for the federal jurisdictional element to be set aside.
And lower courts have uniformly adopted the same approach when comparing federal and state crimes in order to apply the federal three-strikes statute. That law imposes mandatory life imprisonment on a person convicted on three separate occasions of a “serious violent felony.”
18 U. S. C. §3559(c)(1). Sounding very much like the INA, the three-strikes statute defines such a felony to include “a Federal or State offense, by whatever designation and wherever committed, consisting of” specified crimes (e.g.,
murder, manslaughter, robbery) “as described in” listed federal criminal statutes. §3559(c)(2)(F). In deciding whether a state crime of conviction thus corresponds to an enumerated federal statute, every court to have faced the issue has ignored the statute’s jurisdictional element. See, e.g., United States
, 198 F. 3d 1354, 1357 (CA11 1999) (per curiam
); United States
, 132 F. 3d 383, 386–387 (CA7 1997). Judge Wood, writing for the Seventh Circuit, highlighted the phrase “a Federal or State offense, by whatever designation and wherever committed”—the three-strikes law’s version of §1101(a)(43)’s penultimate sentence. “It is hard to see why Congress would have used this language,” she reasoned, “if it had meant that every detail of the federal offense, including its jurisdictional element[ ], had to be replicated in the state offense.” Id.,
at 386–387. Just so, too, in the INA—whose “aggravated felony” provisions operate against, and rely on, an established legal backdrop distinguishing between jurisdictional and substantive elements.[12
Luna objects to drawing that line on the ground that it is too hard to tell the difference between the two. See Brief for Petitioner 26–28 (discussing, in particular, statutes criminalizing the destruction of federal property and sending threats via the Postal Service). But that contention collides with the judicial experience just described. Courts regularly separate substantive from jurisdictional elements in applying federal criminal statutes’ mens rea
requirements; so too in implementing other laws that require a comparison of federal and state offenses. And from all we can see, courts perform that task with no real trouble: Luna has not pointed to any divisions between or within Circuits arising from the practice. We do not deny that some tough questions may lurk on the margins—where an element that makes evident Congress’s regulatory power also might play a role in defining the behavior Congress thought harmful. But a standard interstate commerce element, of the kind appearing in a great many federal laws, is almost always a simple jurisdictional hook—and courts may as easily acknowledge that fact in enforcing the INA as they have done in other contexts.
Luna makes a final argument opposing our reading of §1101(a)(43): If Congress had meant for “ordinary state-law” crimes like arson to count as aggravated felonies, it would have drafted the provision to make that self-evident. Brief for Petitioner 20. Congress, Luna submits, would have used the generic term for those crimes—e.g.
, “arson”—rather than demanding that the state law of conviction correspond to a listed federal statute. See id.,
at 20–23. Or else, Luna (and the dissent) suggests, see id.,
at 24; post,
at 13, Congress would have expressly distinguished between substantive and jurisdictional elements, as it did in an unrelated law mandating the pretrial detention of any person convicted of a federal offense “described in [a certain federal statute], or of a State or local offense that would have been an offense described in [that statute] if a circumstance giving rise to Federal jurisdiction had existed,”
18 U. S. C. §3142(e)(2)(A).
But as an initial matter, Congress may have had good reason to think that a statutory reference would capture more accurately than a generic label the range of state convictions warranting automatic deportation. The clause of §1101(a)(43) applying to Luna’s case well illustrates the point. By referring to
18 U. S. C. §844(i), that provision incorporates not only the garden-variety arson offenses that a generic “arson” label would cover, but various explosives offenses too. See Brief for Petitioner 23, n. 7 (conceding that had Congress used the term “arson,” it would have had to separately identify the explosives crimes encompassed in §844(i)). And the elements of generic arson are themselves so uncertain as to pose problems for a court having to decide whether they are present in a given state law. See Poulos, The Metamorphosis of the Law of Arson, 51 Mo. L. Rev. 295, 364, 387–435 (1986) (describing multiple conflicts over what conduct the term “arson” includes). Nor is the clause at issue here unusual in those respects: Section 1101(a)(43) includes many other statutory references that do not convert easily to generic labels. See, e.g.,
§1101(a)(43)(E)(ii) (listing federal statutes defining various firearms offenses). To be sure, Congress used such labels to describe some crimes qualifying as aggravated felonies—for example, “murder, rape, or sexual abuse of a minor.” §1101(a)(43)(A). But what is good for some crimes is not for others. The use of a federal statutory reference shows only that Congress thought it the best way to identify certain substantive crimes—not that Congress wanted (in conflict with the penultimate sentence) to exclude state and foreign versions of those offenses for lack of a jurisdictional element.
Still more, Congress’s omission of statutory language specifically directing courts to ignore those elements cannot tip the scales in Luna’s favor. We have little doubt that “Congress could have drafted [§1101(a)(43)] with more precision than it did.” Graham County Soil & Water Conservation Dist.
v. United States ex rel. Wilson
545 U. S. 409,
. But the same could be said of many (even most) statutes; as to that feature, §1101(a)(43) can join a well-populated club. And we have long been mindful of that fact when interpreting laws. Rather than expecting (let alone demanding) perfection in drafting, we have routinely construed statutes to have a particular meaning even as we acknowledged that Congress could have expressed itself more clearly. See, e.g., ibid.
; Florida Dept. of Revenue
v. Piccadilly Cafeterias, Inc.
554 U. S. 33,
v. United States
431 U. S. 563
–571, 575 (1977). The question, then, is not: Could Congress have indicated (or even did Congress elsewhere indicate) in more crystalline fashion that comparisons of federal and state offenses should disregard elements that merely establish legislative jurisdiction? The question is instead, and more simply: Is that the right and fair reading of the statute before us? And the answer to that question, given the import of §1101(a)(43)’s penultimate sentence and the well-settled background rule distinguishing between jurisdictional and substantive elements, is yes.
That reading of §1101(a)(43) resolves this case. Luna has acknowledged that the New York arson law differs from the listed federal statute,
18 U. S. C. §844(i), in only one respect: It lacks an interstate commerce element. See Pet. for Cert. 3. And Luna nowhere contests that §844(i)’s commerce element—featuring the terms “in interstate or foreign commerce” and “affecting interstate or foreign commerce”—is of the standard, jurisdictional kind. See Tr. of Oral Arg. 12, 19; Scheidler
, 547 U. S., at 17–18 (referring to the phrases “affect commerce” and “in commerce” as conventional “jurisdictional language”). For all the reasons we have given, such an element is properly ignored when determining if a state offense counts as an aggravated felony under §1101(a)(43). We accordingly affirm the judgment of the Second Circuit.
It is so ordered.