NE: 8th Circuit says Nebraska’s sex offender list doesn’t apply to boy

The 8th Circuit Court has ruled in favor of a 15-year-old boy whose family sued the Nebraska State Patrol to keep him from being put on the state’s sex offender registry for a juvenile case in Minnesota. Full Article

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On the footnote (dicta) of the court opinion, the opinion stated…We believe the applicationof SORA and its public notification requirement to juveniles
adjudicated delinquent in other jurisdictions but not in Nebraska raises serious
constitutional concerns under the rights to travel and to equal protection of the laws.
Of the events triggering application of SORA under NSP regulations–residency,
employment, carrying on a vocation, or attending school in Nebraska, 272 Neb.
Admin. Code ch. 19 § 003.02–it is highly likely a juvenile would be subject to SORA
due to residency. This raises troubling implications under the third prong of the right
to travel, arising from the Privileges and Immunities and the Privileges or Immunities
Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, see generally Saenz v. Roe, 526 U.S. 489, 502-04
(1999) (describing strict standard of review for state discrimination against newly
arrived citizens); Attorney Gen. of N.Y. v. Soto-Lopez, 476 U.S. 898, 903 (1986) (“A
state law implicates the right to travel. . .
This is a great ruling!

I can’t believe the State sued over this (well actually, sadly I can believe it). Regardless what the law said, it was clearly an Equal Protection violation. Anytime the phrase, “but for moving from another State,” can be applied, there’s almost assuredly an Equal Protection problem. Ex: “but for moving from MN, the juvenile would not have had to register.”

True True True!! YESSSSSSSS!!

Two days ago the Nebraska Legislature introduced a bill that harmonizes this Eighth Circuit decision ! Senator Carol Blood has sponsored bill LB-689 which says if a juvenile moves to Nebraska, even though they may be registered (or not) in the State they are coming from, they do NOT have to register here in Nebraska. In talking with Carol’s legislative aide, he said Carol was part of a group of judges, legislators, and others that met last fall to create this bill. He added that the group all agreed that the entire country is swinging away from registering juveniles.