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General News

Obama Could Still Stop ‘Megan’s Law’ From Making Sex Offenders Get Special Passports

Both the U.S. House and Senate have signed off on a bill to brand registered sex offenders as such on their passports and require federal officials to notify foreign governments whenever certain offenders intend to travel there. The bill is now on its way to President Obama; it’s unclear whether he’ll sign.

If he does, it will be “the first time in U.S. history that any such special designation will appear on the passports of any U.S. citizens,” writes lawyer and New America Foundation Senior Fellow David Post at The Volokh Conspiracy, “and I think it should send at least a small chill down all of our spines.”    Full Article

Join the discussion

  1. David

    What happened to America? How did our great nation go so badly off course? ?

    • TiredOfHiding

      The dumbing down of America. American’s were/are so passive because they have life so easy that they have allowed the government to use FEAR to control them and strip away rights. As long as they can watch sports on TV…travel to Las Vegas…and afford to shop at Walmart (for crap made in China) the vast majority of the stupid country seem totally content letting the government wipe their ass with the constitution that prior to that, thousands of good honest Americans like my grandfather gave their lives to protect.

      I am so ashamed to be an American it is not even funny and this is the final nail in the coffin. I have nothing but contempt for this government from this point forward if Obama signs this evil bill in a “law.”

    • David Kennerly

      America started to distrust Americans and to root them out wherever they found them.

  2. Nicholas Maietta

    There must be a way to find relief of registration requirements if we are placed into a position where we cannot even leave this country to finally escape this mess.

    If we are FORCED to abide by laws here in the homeland, but we don’t agree with them, we should be free to leave the States. If they (our Government) finds ways to force us to be stuck here where we cannot leave, then that itself is forcing us against our will to do something we don’t believe or agree in.

    Please tell me that there is a way to address this with legal action? If not then what other methods do we have to escape besides suicide, being murdered, or natural death?

    • Jason

      Sadly, their argument has been consistent and upheld in the courts. “We aren’t restricting travel! The foreign governments are!”

    • Timmr

      I would try to live, because they don’t want you to exist, and I wouldn’t give them anything they want.

    • LM

      It is a silent genocide… they actually want your whole bloodline to be wiped out.

  3. Someone who cares

    I wrote a long letter to the President on the whitehouse contact page. He can’t possibly approve a law that is so harsh and inhumane without checking the numbers and realizing that they are all made up. It is not just a law, it will ruin people’s lives. Those type of laws can not just be approved by simply listening to made up stories. He has to do his own research. How can anyone live with themselves if this law goes into effect?

    • Jason

      The US criminal justice system (and immigration system, the military, and Congress general) has been ruining lives and destroying families for a long time before sex offender registration. There’s nothing about this law that is going to cause Obama to have a “hmmmm.. let’s start being humane on this issue!” moment.

    • PK

      I saw the video on whitehouse.gov where they say he only reads 10 letters per day. Yet he receives 100,000 emails per day.

  4. Jason

    No chance in hell Obama uses the veto on this. It would simply go back to Congress to override the veto, and it would simply be speech after speech about how Obama supports child rapists. It would then cause Hillary and Sanders to have to distance themselves by appearing “tough on sex offenders”.

    Only chance is the courts. But if the courts allow lifetime GPS monitoring, I doubt they will have a problem with this.

    • Friend of RSOL

      Yikes – that is a chilling thought about Hillary and Sanders. Hillary was the one who supported the idea of child “superpredators.”

      Nevertheless I sent the following letter to Obama, for what it’s worth.

      Dear President Obama,

      Back in 2008, I voted for you and donated $2500 to your campaign, even though I am not wealthy. I was so excited about your candidacy and everything you stood for.

      I was also excited that you were a Constitutional scholar. Since the Supreme Court put George Bush into office in 2000, there has been a drastic shift in public policy due to various important Court decisions. I was so hopeful that your background in Constitutional law would help reverse some of these damaging policies.

      We now have a policy decision that demands your personal attention and Constitutional expertise:

      HR515. It will be coming to your desk for signing. PLEASE DO NOT SIGN THIS BILL.

      The amendments inserted by the Senate since HR515 was originally passed by the House were rushed through final passage by *suspension of the rules*. This bill needs DEBATE. Many members of the House are probably not aware of the changes to this bill, since they were not required to attend the special session in which it was approved by a concurrence vote.

      HR515 requires a “special identifier” on passports of sex offenders, regardless of the seriousness of their crime, how long ago their conviction occurred (may have been decades), and whether they are actually a risk for re-offense. It not only affects the citizens themselves, but their families as well – who are “collateral damage” in this type of legislation.

      This is a clear and serious breach of the Constitution, and creates a CHILLING PRECEDENT. It essentially creates a class of second-class U.S. citizens, who are not on parole or probation, have served their time, and paid their debt to society, yet are subject to severe restrictions of movement. Please consult State Department statistics and other metrics regarding the actual necessity of this bill in preventing crimes against children in other nations.

      Thank you for your consideration. I hope you will use these last weeks in office to further the cause of freedom and redemption for people who are trying to lead useful, productive, and law-abiding lives, wherever they may go.

    • Timmr

      Jimminy Christmas, would Obama want to go down in history as the president who brought Nazi-like passport identifiers to America? That would just verify what the Tea Party said about him years ago. If so, he will eventually be known for that down the road, not for whether he was coddling sex offenders. No one will remember whether he was tough on sex offenders or not. That is just our present history. The implications of this law will surely make it a most unpopular decision in the future. Who remembers who was against the House Committee on Un-american Activities, those so called Communists sympathizers? We do remember the fascist Joseph McCarthy. What a place to leave your legacy hat. Hope Obama is not completely blind to this.

      • Q

        I’m not sure the man/child Obama really cares what the world thinks about him now or in the future. Didn’t you see him kissing the feet of the heathen Saudi king? And what about him crying on TV when trying to further restrict/remove our right to own arms? (that was really grown up and world leaderish!!!) That’s not to mention the almost 100% average of doing precisely what he says he won’t do. And that’s not to mention his administrations total disregard for domestic and international law, as well as his drone program of murdering Americans without due process or anything else American citizens have a right to. They invariably brush aside the complaints of the regular people of the countries his drones operate in when entire families are mistakenly killed. I could go on ad nausium about less than honorable things this so called leader does, like attacking whistle blowers; just look at what is happening with Julian Assange right now! All because he did what journalists do and Obama got embarrass and put on the spot.

        No, I don’t think the president really cares about us. I think he just want’s to go out with everyone thinking he did a good thing. I don’t think he will consider the Nazi/Stalin angle.

  5. anonymously

    Jason wrote :The US criminal justice system (and immigration system, the military, and Congress general) has been ruining lives and destroying families for a long time before sex offender registration. There’s nothing about this law that is going to cause Obama to have a “hmmmm.. let’s start being humane on this issue!” moment.”

    Yes, but it’s not being asked of Obama to reverse Bush’s policies, already in place. This is easier for him not to be the President who signed this Nazi-like precedent in law in the first place.

    • Jason

      @anonymously: He doesn’t even need to sign it. He can just wait 10 days and it becomes law. He’s not going to be seen as morally responsible no matter what happens since he couldn’t have stopped it anyway.

      Hundreds in the House had the chance to stand up and AT LEAST say “Hey everyone… shouldn’t we at least debate the issue?” Not a single one. Not a single progressive, libertarian, or self-proclaimed “lover of the Constitution”. No reason to think Obama is going to be any different.

      • Harry

        Jason, you are right he will do the 10 day thing, let it become law. Obama is not a leader.

        • Jason

          It’s not about Obama being a leader or not. It’s about him being a politician.

          Can you imagine Trump or Cruz? They would have an elaborate ceremony with Megan’s parents and probably even John Walsh. (Adam Walsh’s father… the ‘almost sex offender’ who was in his 20s and started a creepy relationship with a 16 year old.)

        • David Kennerly

          Except for one thing: Obama isn’t running for office ever again.

  6. anonymously

    Jason wrote “No chance in hell Obama uses the veto on this. It would simply go back to Congress to override the veto,…”

    I don’t see how he would want this to be his legacy. He would have to aid the same obstructionists who thwarted any part of his presidential agenda they could. I don’t think all of Congress would want their names on this. That’s why the rules were suspended so 5 or 6 could vote on it to pass it. If Obama vetos it and it gets overridden it would require more votes than a majority to override and all of the Congress would have to take a formal vote, if I am not wrong on this. Would these Congresspeople who didn’t want to vote on it Feb 1 with suspension of the rules, now want their names to be on the override, which could hurt their careers later being linked to Nazi-like precedents in the US? I would hope not.

    “and it would simply be speech after speech about how Obama supports child rapists. It would then cause Hillary and Sanders to have to distance themselves by appearing “tough on sex offenders”.”

    That may have been more accurate over a decade ago. Since then, Iowa and other places, have seen added restrictions to Megans Law be counter-productive and seen the need to reverse course. Ted Cruz won the caucus in Iowa 2 days ago, on the same day of this travesty passing of HR 515. Ted Cruz said he is not a fan of registries of Americans. Even in California, it can be seen the counter-productiveness in many ways including the fostering of a false sense of security, that was present when children were sexually victimized a few years ago at Desert Christian School, founded by George and Sharon Runner. More candidates should follow Cruz’ lead on being anti-registry for Americans.

    • Jason

      @anonymously Are you serious about thinking Cruz would be good for RSO issues?

      He staunchly defended the sex offender laws in the state of Texas when he was Solicitor General.

      He took some positions in the past about reforming criminal justice, but has since backed off those and now “talks tough” on long sentences etc…

      Federal Judges that have ruled in favor of sex offender issues are almost always coming out of the progressive left. No chance in hell Cruz would nominate one of those judges.

      • PK

        “Federal Judges that have ruled in favor of sex offender issues are almost always coming out of the progressive left” Thanks for the info!

    • David Kennerly

      We have already seen that Ted Cruz IS a fan of sex offender registries. We put this to bed several months ago.

  7. Lake County

    I Tweeted the President and sent an email to the White House.

  8. David Kennerly

    Yes, you’re absolutely correct! There’s a phrase: “past performance is no guarantee of future results.” We need to be careful about assuming that what has been the standard operating model for the last thirty or more years will forever continue to be the same operating model. By making that assumption, we can assure its continuation.

    This hysteria WILL end. The question is when and how can we help to bring about its demise.

    We need to help the President, no matter how unpromising we might think him to be in our assistance, by turning on the pressure RIGHT NOW!

    Email and Tweet and Call and Fax him right now and every day until he either signs, or refuses to sign, that horrid bill into law.

    Go to this link and copy the image, especially made for Obama, and follow the format of the tweet.

    Each tweet you send out should have @potus (his Twitter account) plus as many of the names of White House staff (and anyone else who should know about this travesty) in the body text (WH staff Twitter accounts, below).

    Take that same image and attach it to an email and send to Obama and anyone else you can think of, including news media.

    Please, we need to flood Twitter with these messages.

    Here is the White House staff’s Twitter names:

    @Charlie44
    @Abramson44
    @Alex44
    @Ashley44
    @Benenati44
    @Broderick44
    @Brundage44

    @Cabinet
    @CEAChair
    @Cecilia44
    @Deese44
    @DeeseOMB
    @Denis44
    @DJ44
    @dmbrooks44
    @DrBiden
    @FLOTUS

    @Goldman44
    @Hill44
    @Hoffine44
    @Holst44
    @jesseclee44
    @JFriedman44
    @JoiningForces

    @Jordan44
    @Katie44
    @KLewis44
    @KRichards44
    @ks44
    @LaCasaBlanca
    @Lee44
    @letsmove
    @LincolnTheHawk
    @Maley44
    @NSC44
    @OMB
    @OMBPress
    @OpenGov
    @PAniskoff44
    @petesouza
    @Phil44
    @PressSec
    @Price44
    @Psaki44
    @Racusen44
    @ReachHigher
    @rhodes44
    @Rob44
    @RODonnell44
    @Rohan44
    @Rosholm44
    @Schultz44
    @Simas44
    @Stephanie44
    @Tara44
    @TheJusticeDept
    @Tiller44
    @USCTO
    @USDS
    @Vargas44
    @vj44
    @VP
    @wethepeople
    @WhiteHouse
    @whitehouseostp
    @WHVideo
    @WHWeb

    • David Kennerly

      I’ve made it even easier:

      The text below is for seven different Tweets, Each beginning with VETO IML @POTUS

      Just copy each of the seven blocks of text into a tweet, add the graphic by dragging and dropping it from a file manager window, and press send.

      Each block falls within the 140 character limit.

      Again, the image can be found here and can be right-clicked and saved to your hard drive:

      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CaadJ9YUMAEUXKk.jpg

      It’s SO easy! Let’s flood these Twitter accounts!

    • David Kennerly

      I’ve made it even easier:

      The text below is for seven different Tweets, Each beginning with VETO IML @POTUS

      Just copy each of the seven blocks of text into a tweet, add the graphic by dragging and dropping it from a file manager window, and press send.

      Each block falls within the 140 character limit.

      Again, the image can be found here and can be right-clicked and saved to your hard drive:

      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CaadJ9YUMAEUXKk.jpg

      It’s SO easy! Let’s flood these Twitter accounts!

      VETO IML @POTUS
      @Charlie44
      @Abramson44
      @Alex44
      @Ashley44
      @Benenati44
      @Broderick44
      @Brundage44
      @Cabinet
      @CEAChair

      VETO IML @POTUS
      @Cecilia44
      @Deese44
      @DeeseOMB
      @Denis44
      @DJ44
      @dmbrooks44
      @DrBiden
      @FLOTUS
      @Goldman44
      @Hill44

      VETO IML @POTUS
      @Hoffine44
      @Holst44
      @jesseclee44
      @JFriedman44
      @JoiningForces
      @Jordan44
      @Katie44
      @KLewis44

      VETO IML @POTUS
      @KRichards44
      @ks44
      @LaCasaBlanca
      @Lee44
      @letsmove
      @LincolnTheHawk
      @Maley44
      @NSC44
      @OMB
      @OMBPress

      VETO IML @POTUS
      @OpenGov
      @PAniskoff44
      @petesouza
      @Phil44
      @PressSec
      @Price44
      @Psaki44
      @Racusen44
      @ReachHigher
      @Rob44

      VETO IML @POTUS
      @rhodes44
      @RODonnell44
      @Rohan44
      @Rosholm44
      @Schultz44
      @Simas44
      @Stephanie44
      @Tara44
      @TheJusticeDept

      VETO IML @POTUS
      @Tiller44
      @USCTO
      @USDS
      @Vargas44
      @vj44
      @VP
      @wethepeople
      @WhiteHouse
      @whitehouseostp
      @WHVideo
      @WHWeb

      • Timmr

        Well, you learn something new every day! Just sent my first seven tweets into the “tubes”. I’ll ask a newby question. Can one find out how many of these they have received?

        • David Kennerly

          Thanks for doing that, Timmr! I am afraid that very few seem to have followed your lead.

          You can search for @potus on Twitter and then click the button that says “LIVE” instead of the one that says “TOP”. actually, let me just link to that here: https://twitter.com/search?f=tweets&vertical=news&q=%40potus&src=typd

          He gets extraordinary amounts of Tweets, as you can imagine. Doing a search on Tweets critical of IML within “Advanced Twitter Search” yields far fewer tweets than what I know has been sent to him, so that function does not work well. You can try it here: https://twitter.com/search-advanced?lang=en

          It’s almost impossible to know how many tweets he’s received that urged him to veto IML, from what I can tell.

        • Timmr

          OK. Thanks for setting that up and making it easy. Maybe few responded, but every bit helps. If we don’t win this one, we will be better trained for the next round.

        • Lake County

          You’re right, not many have sent msgs. I found my tweet there. Maybe just not many RC have Twitter accounts. Or not allowed internet access.

  9. anonymously

    Jason wrote “Federal Judges that have ruled in favor of sex offender issues are almost always coming out of the progressive left. No chance in hell Cruz would nominate one of those judges.”

    It takes some Republican judges some time perhaps to come around. John Paul Stevens, who wrote the dissenting opinion of 2003 Smith v Doe was appointed by Republicans. And the California Supreme Court, who at least listened to the CASOMB on residency and presence restrictions is majority Republican. As far as Cruz and nominated any judges good on RSO issues, Cruz has come out against NSA spying on phone records. That shows some anti-authoritarianism. The judges he would nominate could then have similar views on authoritarian practices. What Cruz did as TX Solicitor General was done within the framework of being appointed by then Atty General and now TX Governor Greg Abbott, sex trafficking myth promulator and registry expansion supporter idiot. So there is that. I just think that when a man says he’s anti-registry, I would take that man to be anti-all registries and take that man at his word. Especially when Ted Cruz has a campaign ad where he says that when he says he will do something, that is -exactly- and he accentuates the word ‘exactly’ what he will do. Unless he contradicts himself after he said this 2 months ago, I may prefer him to other Republicans candidates, although I am a Bernie supporter. It would be less than credible on Cruz’ part to make a news conference with Megans parents, Walsh, etc, to celebrate an add-on to the registry, when he said 2 months ago that he is not a fan of registries for American citizens. Trump, on the other hand, is willing to challenge Fox News who have been consistently instrumental in passing registry expansion legislation. That is a slight positive for Trump., Also, Trump talks of going after corporations which hide their assets and have tax shelters overseas. Bernie has been consistent on saying he;ll go after this, and Hillary now has also mentioned going after corporate inversion pracices. However, I doubt Hillary would go after FaceBook, who has a fake headquarters and tax shelter in Ireland, since she is hosting fundraisers at Kelly’s pad. Bernie I do think has the integrity to go after a company seen as progressive, but a company that is only diverse in terms of ethnic and gender diversity, but lacks diversity of thought on RSO issues, to put it mildly. Trump , even though he seems to love Twitter, I think could well go after FaceBook and get them to stop their overseas tax shelters, hand over all the records of their business dealings and see who they have bribed. If not, then their assets should be nationalized. I think Zuckerberg/Kelly are only anti-privacy when it’s not their privacy on the line.

    • Timmr

      I don’t think any of them will do anything against the registry system, unless we can make a bigger stink about this being an authoritarian system bent on destroying individual rights. Right now, they don’t want the smell of being soft on sex crimes following them around.

    • Jason

      The Republican judges that vote “soft on crime” are considered traitors to the right wing. (Cruz included) Cruz does buck the trend of his party from time to time, but he comes down further right in most cases. “Sex Offenders” is not going to be the issue he makes a stand against his party on.

      More important are the positions of the two most likely Presidents, Hillary and Rubio. Hillary, like Obama and her husband, will not take the lead in pushing more draconian measures, but they will sign anything Congress sends to them. Rubio will talk about “the children” with a tear in his eye and have a ceremony.

      Either way, the courts are going to be source of any push back, and left wing judges (and “traitorous” right wing judges) are going to be the ones that do the pushing.

      • Timmr

        Very easy for Republican judges to be ideologically pure on this if they view this as overblown government intrusion into private lives.
        Time for a left/right alliance to combat centralized power. Many self called socialists also believe in de-centralized power, balanced government and dismantling of the police state. If they say they believe it tell them to prove it.

        • Jason

          I would absolutely love to see this and I hope that some on the right would come down on the side of civil rights. Unfortunately, not a single candidate in the Republican primary remains (now that Rand Paul is gone) that would nominate such a judge.

          In her dissent in 2003 in the case that decided that the “Registry isn’t punishment”, Ginsburg states the obvious:

          “Furthermore, the Act’s requirements resemble historically common forms of punishment. Its registration and reporting provisions are comparable to conditions of supervised release or parole; its public notification regimen, which permits placement of the registrant’s face on a webpage under the label “Registered Sex Offender,” calls to mind shaming punishments once used to mark an offender as someone to be shunned.”

          Please show me a conservative, someone on the right, a Republican, who is willing to go on the record acknowledging this reality that Ginsburg so eloquently stated. Philosophically, I agree 100% that an anti-registry stance is consistent with Libertarian values, but I’d really like to see even a single example in a published case or a piece of major legislation.

          I really want to believe that this can become an alliance of some sort against this. But over the past 2 decades and currently, the ONLY people in power that have ever taken a stand against this shit have been left wing judges. No politicians, left or right. No major law enforcement agencies. No right wing judges. I’m not making a political statement here, I’m observing the reality of what has happened.

        • David Kennerly

          “Please show me a conservative, someone on the right, a Republican, who is willing to go on the record acknowledging this reality that Ginsburg so eloquently stated. Philosophically, I agree 100% that an anti-registry stance is consistent with Libertarian values, but I’d really like to see even a single example in a published case or a piece of major legislation.”

          It sounds as though you may be conflating “libertarian” with “conservative”. They are not the same, in any way.

          In some matters, libertarians agree with conservatives and in other matters they agree with leftists.

          But in all matters, libertarian principles are consistent in regards to matters of individual liberty.

          Now, the reason you have seen no libertarian-crafted legislation critical of sex offender registries, or of sex offender policies of any kind, is because there are, essentially, no libertarians holding office nor have libertarians ever held office in numbers sufficient to create laws (within the past century).

          There are, apart from office-holders, numerous libertarians who are dead-set against the Registry. Actually, I can’t even think of a single libertarian who is FOR the Registry.

          I absolutely agree that those on the left are far more likely to support our efforts than those on the right. Libertarians, however, are not on the right.

        • Harry

          I do not know anything about Carson’s in the area of the registry, however, I think he is more libertarian leaning, than Republican. He has not been polluted with politics, yet. Only thing that concerns me is that he is from Florida. If, I had vote for someone, it would be Carson.

        • David Kennerly

          Oh, as for the judges: Judge Alex Kozinski, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, is absolutely fantastic and libertarian (and not ‘left wing’ by any stretch).

  10. Family member

    I don’t think Obama will veto it or even sign it into law. He probably won’t touch it. Both will backfire on him. If he vetos it he will be seen as sympathetic to the issue and if he signs it he will be seen as contradictory to his justice prison reforms that he has been doing. I wish he would stop it but I think he will just let it go into law by itself. I see this being brought upon and fought in the courts. Hopefully it gets destroyed there once and for all making it illegal to do such nonsense.

    • PK

      ” Hopefully it gets destroyed there once and for all making it illegal to do such nonsense.” millions of dollars and years later.

    • Harry

      Big part of me, would like to see HR515 become law. This would be a sure way of getting the truth in the mainstream through the court system. However, if this go to the courts HR515 needs to be challenge fully, not only the indemnifier. These lawsuits need to include the past practices of the USMS and Green Notices. Soon, we need challenge the SOR on the grounds that Governments are abusing their authority and are using as harassment tool against law abiding citizens. The SOR needs to be outlawed.

      • PK

        It’s going to be challenged on the individual provisions.

      • Timmr

        I have to concur. A lawsuit is about the only way now the issues and the facts will be brought forward and analyzed — although, if Obama vetoes this, we will have a constitutional scholar and leader of the “free” world raising concerns. That has got to mean something. If not, then not be so good.

    • commenter1

      I don’t see any bills that Obama has just let go through without signature or veto.

      Check his website:

      https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/pending-legislation
      https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/signed-legislation
      https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/vetoed-legislation

      Note that he has been very selective with his veto power using it only 9 times!

      If you look at his vetoes though the last two he issued either the same day he received the bill or the very next day.

    • Janice Bellucci

      The President is required either to sign the law or to veto it. He has 10 days to make that decision. If he doesn’t sign it during that period of time, it’s called a “pocket veto”. My best guess and it is only a guess is that the President will sign it due to a perception that a veto of the bill would harm other Democrats who are currently running for office. I hope that I am wrong.

      • Jason

        I thought the pocket veto only applied when Congress was not in session? And that if Congress was in session the bill simply passed?

      • PK

        Do you think the President is seriously considering the ramifications of this Bill? Does he study both the pros and cons?

      • Paul

        POTUS has 10 days to sign it, or veto it. If, after 10 days (Sundays excepted) POTUS does nothing, it automatically becomes law UNLESS Congress is not in session. If Congress is not in session, then the bill fails to become law because Congress has prevented the bill’s return.

  11. Lake County

    http://www.heritage.org/constitution/#!/articles/1/essays/32/pocket-veto

    Article I, Section 7, Clause 2

    Pocket Veto. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_veto

    If Congress prevents the bill’s return by being adjourned during the 10-day period, and the president does not sign the bill, a “pocket veto” occurs and the bill does not become law. Congress can adjourn and designate an agent to receive veto messages and other communications so that a pocket veto cannot happen, an action Congresses have routinely taken for decades.

    Presidents have been reluctant to pursue disputed pocket vetoes to the Supreme Court for fear of an adverse ruling that would serve as a precedent in future cases.

  12. MJ

    Sent the following message to Obama through the site: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

    In regards to HR 515, I deplore you to veto this bill immediately. Do you want to be the president that starts this country off the same way Nazi Germany did? This is the first step down a disastrous rabbit hole and I hope you can see that. First it’s this group of people, and this will open the door to another group and so on.

    While ruled as “regulatory,” the continuing punitive measures made against a group of people who have already paid their time are not helping anyone. Not one victim has been saved from the registry. Not one! This measure that builds on false premises will only hurt the civil liberties of citizens.

    Honestly I wish you could do more to rid our nation of the hit list known as Megan’s Law too. More people die from this law than are saved by it. But if there’s any one thing you can do to help keep our nation constitutionally sound, you should VETO this bill. Thank you.

  13. BJ

    Hey MJ,

    You said you sent this message to the president, “I deplore you to veto this bill immediately.”
    In the famous line of Inigo Montoya, “You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means”

    Cheers,
    BJ

  14. commenter1

    I encourage all of you to watch President Obama’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast this week–
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/02/04/president-obama-faith-great-cure-fear

    Is he talking anywhere in that speech to registered citizens or do you think he is only thinking of other groups? You decide. Anyway, I challenge all of you to hold him to his words.

    If you prefer to read the transcript rather than watch the video then you can read it here:
    http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-02-04/obama-2016-national-prayer-breakfast-transcript

  15. Concerned Citizen

    Chris Smith has ‘Grave Concern’ at Obama Administration Complicity in Human Trafficking.
    http://chrissmith.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=398706
    Perhaps this means that Rep. Smith does not have the support of the President.

    • Timmr

      That old trick of trying to influence a vote by attacking the decision maker’s character. Ho, hum. Here we go again. Hope Obama has learned to ignore such tactics. Chris Smith is showing he has less integrity is his whole being than Obama has in his big toe nail.

    • PK

      I truly believe in my heart that this person is a real villain.

      • mch

        Any law that can’t pass the constitutional muster is bad and whoever wrote or sponsors it is either a villian or willfully ignorant (stupid).

    • steve

      Here’s a shocker. None of the mentioned trafficking was done by a registered citizen. So Chris tell me how punishing over 4 million people would have stopped those kids from getting on the chicken farm? Seems to me we should set up a registry of chicken farmers to prevent this from happening again.

      • Timmr

        Hi Steve. What page is that on. That’s very important.

        • steve

          Right at the beginning

          According to the report a review of the Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement concluded that “HHS’s policies and procedures are inadequate to protect children in the agency’s care.” Citing instances in 2014 where children were turned over to traffickers, the Senate said that the vetting process for verifying the relationship between children and adults was “unreliable and vulnerable to abuse.”

          The report cited a case where traffickers collected children to work on a chicken farm in Marion, Ohio, pointing out that the HHS failed to detect that traffickers “were collecting multiple, unrelated children,” which in itself is a “warning sign of a potential trafficking ring” which went unheeded by HHS. Click here to read a Washington Post article on the investigation.

    • David Kennerly

      It may also be a way of manipulating Obama into signing 515, to establish his sex-hysteria bona fides.

      I find the timing very suspicious.

  16. mch

    Years ago on Monday Night Football, “Dandy” Don Merideth said this; if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas. I’m certainly not a pessimist, just and optimist with experience. I’d like to eat my words if any positive government action is taken on our behalf. It ain’t gonna happen anytime soon.

    • Timmr

      Too late to sit around indulging in optimistic or pessimistic thoughts. We are being buried by registration laws. We have to focus on the digging out.

  17. anonymously

    Jason wrote “I would absolutely love to see this and I hope that some on the right would come down on the side of civil rights. Unfortunately, not a single candidate in the Republican primary remains (now that Rand Paul is gone) that would nominate such a judge.”

    Cruz, it’s still not certain on, given his great statement. Now that Rand is gone, his father Ron Paul is now endorsing Bernie it looks like. Go Bernie! Mike Huckabee is no longer running. He has come out against tough on crime stuff. Even with his soft-on-crime reputation, he still is a hero of the religious right and only until the last debate got moved to the pre-debate from the mainstage debate.

    “In her dissent in 2003 in the case that decided that the “Registry isn’t punishment”, Ginsburg states the obvious:

    “Furthermore, the Act’s requirements resemble historically common forms of punishment. Its registration and reporting provisions are comparable to conditions of supervised release or parole; its public notification regimen, which permits placement of the registrant’s face on a webpage under the label “Registered Sex Offender,” calls to mind shaming punishments once used to mark an offender as someone to be shunned.”

    Please show me a conservative, someone on the right, a Republican, who is willing to go on the record acknowledging this reality that Ginsburg so eloquently stated. Philosophically, I agree 100% that an anti-registry stance is consistent with Libertarian values, but I’d really like to see even a single example in a published case or a piece of major legislation.”

    Ginsburg was nominated to the SCOTUS by Centrist Bill Clinton, as was dissenter of 2003 Smith V Doe Justice Stephen Breyer. Ford put in Stevens and Bill Clinton put in Breyer and Ginsburg. None of the 3 2003 Smith v Doe dissenters had their appointments to the SCOTUS made by a leftwinger.

    “I really want to believe that this can become an alliance of some sort against this. But over the past 2 decades and currently, the ONLY people in power that have ever taken a stand against this shit have been left wing judges. No politicians, left or right. No major law enforcement agencies. No right wing judges. I’m not making a political statement here, I’m observing the reality of what has happened.”

    I do agree, looking at Chris Smith as an example, that there a lot of tough on crime rightwingers hellbent on retribution and are trying to “make an end run” on the Constitution to get their vengeance. But as it’s been pointed out, there are examples to the contrary where judges are not leftwingers but are still free thinkers and apply the Constitution rationally and not work to weasel their way around what the founding fathers meant to say about Cruel and Unusual punishment and Ex-post facto laws.

  18. Timmr

    You know, everyone seems awfully quiet on this issue at present. The quiet before the storm?

    • mike t

      Sorry, I’ve been busy channeling positive affirmation vibes toward our nations leader with the ambition to bring about “CHANGE” (remember that?) to the way registrant issues are handled.If it works he’ll poo-poo this lousy bill. It can’t hurt.

  19. Craig

    I believe the law has been signed, more pain which we knew already.

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