Today the dragon won. That is, the federal government was given permission to continue its implementation of the International Megan’s Law (IML).
The U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California denied our Motion for Preliminary Injunction which attempted to stop the government’s addition of a Scarlet letter to the passports of American citizens as well the government’s notifications to foreign countries that citizens intend to travel there.
The court’s denial was based, in part, upon the legal concept of ripeness. That is, whether the issue was ready (or ripe) for judicial review.
The court declared it was not. Why? Because the federal government has not yet determined the appearance or placement of a “conspicuous unique identifier” on a passport. In making this declaration, the court avoided the broader issue of whether any identifier placed on any part of a passport could pass constitutional muster.
The court’s denial was also based, in part, upon the legal concept of standing. That is, whether the plaintiffs in the case have identified a “certainly impending” future injury caused by the IML.
The court declared they have not. Why? Because any injury that plaintiffs suffered could not be traceable to the IML. In making this declaration, the court failed to consider the harm already done to plaintiffs in this case as well as to thousands of others including the inability to live with one’s spouse, assist an elderly parent or conduct lawful business overseas.
Although today’s decision was not unexpected, it is disappointing. It is one more decision in which a court ignores empirical evidence and relies instead upon myths.
The big picture is this. Today the dragon won. Tomorrow we fight again. Our challenge to the IML will continue.
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Related Media articles
Too Soon to Fight Sex Offender Passport Mark (Courthouse News)
Judge tosses out challenge to sex offender passport law (SF Chronicle)