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Supreme Court May Take Up Va. Sex Registry Case

WASHINGTON (AP) — She was a 24-year-old swimming instructor who had a sexual affair with a male student under 16.

The woman was convicted in Virginia in 1993 of unlawful sex with a teenager and served 30 days in jail. She was listed on the state’s sex offender registry, and could have tried to get her name removed at some point, but didn’t.

Fifteen years later, the state passed a new law that reclassified her and thousands of others as violent sex offenders. The woman — identified in court papers only as Jane Doe — has unsuccessfully challenged the law, and now her lawsuit is on the agenda Friday when the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court meet in private to consider taking up new cases. Full Article

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  1. Anonymous Nobody

    I wish I could hope this would be positive for registrants, but I see no reason to even hope this appellant will prevail. SCOLUS is not looking for excuses to overrule onerous requirements placed on former sex offenders, and without that attitude, I see no chance for this. In fact, it seems to me her arguments have already been ruled on, including the due process challenge.

  2. USA

    So, here is the big question. What if she had had removed her name from the registry? Would this still be an issue?

    • Eric Knight

      Considering that they returned the names of registrants that have originally been taken off, it is likely her name would have been included, though nothing of course is certain.

      I AM certain, however, that if SCOTUS takes this case, it will be the first case since Smith v. Doe that they will hear with regard to the registry. There have been other cases involving sex offenders, but none having to do with the registry or any of its inherent restrictions, such as residency, travel, employment, education, proximity, and other such restrictions that trigger felony-level punishments for non-compliance of this “civil” regulation.

      To that end, if SCOTUS takes the case, I would strongly urge if an amicus brief can be prepared, that it be done so, and that we find out who the litigants are. Indeed, it would greatly increase their odds if they can consult Janice (with pay, of course), as she has had the most success across the board with federal lawsuits involving sex offender legal issues, particularly with ex post facto ramification.

      This case, if taken, should be top priority across the country for the movement. Unless the 9th rules against us in the Prop 35 challenge, this is probably the most important case in the country for the potential actions a state can take with regard to sex offender registration and compliance.

  3. Robert Curtis

    NPR refused to allow my comment to post (no surprise), but thanks to RSOL CA. my comments can be heard.

    There are many issues involved here. The sovereign right of a parent (any parent) to be with their child in public places is mandated not just by natural law (a mother bear even has the right to be with her cubs) but also spiritual law and Constitutional law. The reason for having a sex offender registry was for the worst of the worst (child molesters and rapist) but if someone is deemed so bad then why are they even amongst us? Why do we have parole and probation departments? Is it not to ensure those that get out of prisons and jails are safe to be in society? Registered sex offenders are put into programs of accountability and therapy that make them walk a thin line. While they are on parole or probation I can understand them being on a sex offender registry. One that anyone could access through their local sheriff’s department, but that’s not the case. Today anyone can get the registrant’s address and come into their homes and kill them and their family (which has been done). So, the Sex Offender Registry is a form of Living Death that instills fear. Where are we in pre-1945 Germany? Hitler would be proud. The right of a parent to be with their child is the most fundamental of rights. If we resolve to remove such rights from any parent and do nothing to fight for that right we ourselves deserve the kind of state of affairs given by tyrants. The registrant’s child safety is put at risk not to allow their parent to be with them in public places. A parent is the first line of protection for a child. To remove that element violates every right of not just the parent but that of the child also. The Supreme Court says to register is not punitive but regulatory. Really? What can be more punitive than not to allow a parent to be with their child? The registry itself has gotten way out of hand that it would dare go this far. The registered sex offender has become today’s new Whipping Boy for votes and politicians line up to add lashes to them with every harmful requirement put against them and the public will gladly applause it. The Constitution was put in place to protect the Rights of the few from the actions of the many. We have ignored that Constitution in the past due to following what was popular and not that which was right. First it was native Americans, then Japanese Americans put in interment camps, the Communist list by McCarthism, the plight of African Americans in slavery but who dares to stand against doing harm to registered sex offenders? No preacher, no politician and few judges (thank God for the few judges). Proverbs 16:25 says, there is a way to a man that seems right but the end thereof is the ways of death (destruction). What feeds the fervor is the feeling of insecurity Americans have. They’re not attending to their own children by being to busy on their I-phones and computers while junior is in his room being taken care of by the porn-site babysitter. Parents aren’t in control so what better way than to outwardly blame and rip into some without face demonized villain (the registered sex offender)? Again remember these people have done their time, probation and therapy. Then there’s the fear mongering media that leaves us all out in the cold. Where there is no trust in law enforcement, our government or anyone else. So, those that govern fight to make it just one more day by appeasing the populous by tougher and tougher laws. before it’s all over we’ll have a country no one wants and no one has the backbone or know how to change. Let’s start now by ending the registry. Have a backbone and do what is right not what is popular. TRUTH

  4. George

    If you want, keep an eye on ScotusBlog.

    “On Monday at 9:30 a.m. we expect orders from the March 21 Conference. On both Tuesday and Wednesday we expect opinions in argued cases. We will begin live blogging both days at 9:45 a.m.”

    http://www.scotusblog.com/

    I looking for the petitions and briefs over there.

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