Petition Challenges State Department Regulation

A petition was filed today challenging a State Department regulation that attempts to implement the International Megan’s Law (IML).  The petition states that the regulation, published on September 2, is defective for both substantive and procedural reasons.  In addition, the petition requests that the regulation be significantly modified in order to comply with the IML which has also been challenged.

According to the petition, the regulation is substantively defective for two reasons.  First, the regulation denies passport cards to covered registrants.  Second, the regulation improperly defines covered registrants as anyone convicted of an offense involving a minor although the IML states that only the passports of registrants who are currently required to register can be affected.

“The State Department has made a grave error by issuing a regulation that is broader than the law it attempts to implement,” stated ACSOL President Janice Bellucci.  “The IML does not authorize the agency to deny passport cards to registrants.”

According to the petition, the regulation is procedurally defective because it does not include the reason the agency decided to issue a final rule without first publishing a proposed rule and then obtaining public comments on the proposed rule.

“If the State Department had acted in accordance with the law and published a proposed rule, the agency would have learned of these defects in a more informal manner,” stated Bellucci.

In addition to the filing of a petition, registrants notified several State Department officials by telephone and E-mail last week that the regulation was defective.

“We thank those who contacted the State Department last week,” stated Bellucci. “They were the first to put the agency on notice that their regulation was defective.”

If the State Department fails to reply or provides an unsatisfactory reply to the petition, a lawsuit can be filed in federal district court challenging the regulation.

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Excellent work, Janice!

Janice, you….are…..AWESOME!!!!!
Kick their butts!!!

I have a passport. Can I be one of those RC to tell State Department that my passport is defective.?

Another WIN for RC!!

Janice, you are an absolute saint.
Thank you!

Yes, regulations can be powerful — and wrong. They have leeway, including to interpret and define, but only within the statute. Denying the passport is not in the statute. But this article says they are denying “passport cards,” not passports.

Well then, will they issue only a passport book to those people — maybe because the book will have the identifier on it that everyone is up in arms about? You have the option to get a passport card or a passport book; the book costs you more.

If this regulation is simply meaning that you have to take the book instead of the card, that is a very different matter than barring you from getting a passport altogether. Be ready to counter that argument.

As for the statement:

“the petition improperly defines covered registrants as anyone convicted of an offense involving a minor although the IML states that only the passports of registrants who are currently required to register can be affected.”

While I’d have to go find it and read it again, it seems to me the IML states it more narrowly than simply any registrant convicted of an offense against a child. Seems to me it makes that more narrow by also listing the offenses including in IML, not ANY offense against a child.

I also suspect they will defend by pointing out that of course a covered registrant is a registrant currently registering — they are not a registrant otherwise. It would seem redundant to add in the words “currently registering” when you are defining a covered registrant. There is no other kind of registrant but one currently registering. Perhaps I missed something here.

Great job Janice. I wish we would have thought and had the money to file a suit as soon as the notices began being sent to foreign governments.
Thanks again.

The State Department of the Unazi States of America!

Our government seems intent in making those labeled “registered sex offender” — even after a vast majority of us will never reoffend and have learned our lessons — its new public enemy. Our government is a government of wolves.

State Department are very troubling hypocrites. Hillary Clinton was in charge of the State Department. It looks like her cronies and staff helped her hide and delete e-mails as evidenced by yesturday’s congressional hearings. Yet Hillary Rotten Clinton has no problem when her state department oppresses and violates the rights of others in being able to travel freely and not have their passport branded in what amounts to compelled/forced speech (in violating the 1st Amendment). A great majority will not reoffend, yet IML makes these outlandish assumptions about future crimes that might be committed. Seem Orwellian to you?

Trump is not any better. But Hillary hides behind “liberal” ideals whist flip-flopping and pandering. Anyone see the documentary “Clinton Cash?”

Her State Department is a complete fraud that can be bought with money. Bill and Hillary are much to blame for the overcrowding of prisons, as well as the unconstitutionality and stupidity of the 1994 Megan’s Law (signed by Bill “Unregistered Sex Offender” Clinton).

All I can say is that I am so glad that Janice stood-up to fight this action.

This action will hopefully buy me a little time while I’m in the visa process in the other country, before they try to revoke my passport.

If this escalates even further into a court action, I would absolutely feel compelled to become intimately involved in some way shape or form.

A huge “Thank you!” to Janice et al for attacking this in the courts. I have gone through Hell this last month – first, trying to get an answer from the Irish government as to whether I would be allowed to change airplanes at Dublin Airport, then second, trying to get an answer from the State Department about this passport crap.
I am fed up with us Registered Citizens being everyone’s favorite whipping boy!! 😠😠😠

The Irish Consulate in San Francisco said, “There should be no problem.” But, after numerous emails, I finally made contact with Executive Officer Kevin Brady, Border Management Unit, Garda, Terminal 1, Dublin Airport. I fully explained the situation. He said, “It would probably be no problem….HOWEVER, the decision ultimately rests with whichever BMU officer you encounter at the Dublin airport. They have full discretion to refuse you entry and turn you back.”
So I am not flying through Dublin and I have lost the entire purchase price of the Aer Lingus non-refundable airline ticket ($700+). 😠
My recommendation to all: If you have a layover or connecting flight, carefully check the laws of the country where that layover/connection will occur. I would certainly avoid: Aer Lingus airline (all flights visit their Dublin hub) and Turkey airline (all flights appear to visit Ankara).
Good luck, bon voyage & via con dios.

I have questions for Janice (or anyone) about the IML that I can’t find through research:

1) With the IML, if two people in the same state were convicted of the same sex offense, and their period of registration had ended but one of those spent more than 2 days on a business trip to Florida during the registration period, and he was still registered in Florida for that trip due to the lifetime requirement and inability to get off it even though not residing there, would that person on the Florida registry get the SCARLET LETTER on their passport even though the other SO with the exact same offense wouldn’t and he never lived in Florida?

2) If two people in two different states were convicted of the same sex offense, but one state didn’t require registration or the registration period ended, but the other person was still registered, would the registered person still get the SCARLET LETTER even though both people were convicted of the exact same crime just in different states?

Thanks Janice and team for any help with this and all that you do!


Dear Janice,

Thank you for your continued effort against this. I want to ask a question about a statement in one of your comments in this thread: “The fact is that the IML clearly states that unique identifiers can only be added to the passports of “sex offenders” convicted of most offenses involving a minor AND are currently required to register. The State Department regulation therefore cannot extend the use of unique identifiers to those who are no longer required to register. That is one of the reasons we are challenging the regulation.”

I haven’t lived in the US for 5+ years. I have another citizenship. In fact, in general, it is practically impossible to be an American on paper for me because of a felony conviction, let alone a SO. If I were in the US, under SORNA, I would still be required to register. And under this law, State would mark my passport. However, since leaving (I fulfilled my obligation to notify and update registration when I did), I am NOT required to register as I am not residing, going to school, etc., in any jurisdiction that requires registration. Curious to know your feedback if, as things stand today, the marker requirement of the IML would apply to my passport and others like me.

As an aside, it’s been such an attack on my identity to feel like I can’t be an American outside the country I was born in and grew up in. Especially since almost all my life now is outside the US (work, family), this law 1) is a deterrent from ever coming back home (which is an awful feeling) 2) is a deterrent for even presenting myself as an American out of fear.

Thanks in advance.

AGAIN more deafening silence about the continent of Africa

Don’t registrants ever travel there? I hear a lot about Asia, Europe, and even South America
Nothing about Africa which according to the RTAG Matrix, no country there has denied entry to registered sex offenders.

I’m also waiting for Paul to chime in on this fact since he’s collecting all the data

Hi WantsToHelp,

I have two passports one with the military that allows me entry in to countries with restrictions for civilians, than, I have my civilian passport. My military one expires in a month and I am currently out of the military so no more renewed that one.. The issue, I have is, I am on the registry in Texas, but in the last 10 years, I have not had to register. This seems like a very odd area to be in. I am changing my name in about a week. In the state I currently live in. I can change my name if I have not been convicted. Mine was s. assault I was 18 now 45. I had 10 years deferred adjudication probation once completed no conviction seems like a very gray area to be in. Last place I went to was Canada yes in 2012 with the air force and not a single issue. I went to Scotland than Germany and to afghan on the way back I went to Romania, than to Ireland back to St. Johns Canada and the U.S. That was 2012-2013. I been on few cruises and 2014 Mexico and Jamaica on Cruises no issues at all… I still show up in Texas…….