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National

LA: Court strikes Louisiana’s ‘Sex Offender’ ID requirement

[startribune.com – 10/20/20]

NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana’s requirement that people convicted of certain sex crimes carry a state-issued ID card with the words “SEX OFFENDER” printed on it in orange capital letters is unconstitutional, the state’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

The 6-1 ruling upholds a decision by a state judge in Lafayette who last year threw out a charge filed against a man who altered his card to remove the label.

State attorneys had argued that the state had a legitimate interest in having the information on the ID card: to let law enforcement officers know the cardholder’s criminal history.

But Justice James Genovese, writing for the majority, said there are less restrictive ways to inform law enforcement than requiring someone to show the branded card every time they are required to produce a government ID.

Read the full article

 

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  1. Jason

    I’m not in Louisiana but that’s great news for them SO on license ruled unconstitutional.

    Can this reasoning be used on passport as well?

    • Tim in WI

      Jason,
      LA is somewhat different than other states and commonwealths because of its French heritage. So it isn’t surprising nor new to LA to have law overcome by fed courts. This law has been on the books for some time so this tells you the presumption behind deferring to congress(es) and permitting less than strict language prohibition are demanded by the obligation to read the plain words of the Articles. ” Congress shall make NO LAW abridg!ng…. ”
      “NO LAW” means precisely that as to civil cause increases. OUR LEADERSHIP PLAIN ABANDONED PLAIN READING in favor a ubiquitous balance between man and database machine.

  2. David⚜️

    🤔 Could the same successful legal arguments be used to attack International Megan’s Law’s branded passports? 🤔

    • New Person

      Sadly, no.

      There is no “Sex Offender” branding on the passport, but there is a demarcation that identifies you to the government that you are a sex offender registrant. This is a less restrictive means of advancing its otherwise compelling interest.

      But what the IML does is broadcast what is supposed to be a local thing, supposed to be a state thing, to becoming an international broadcast scheme.

      It’s safe to say that being a registered sex offender who no longer is under custody is worse than being a non-sex offender felon.

    • Janice Bellucci

      @David and others – We tried unsuccessfully to argue in the IML lawsuit that the “unique identifier” is compelled speech required by the government. One reason we failed is that the government did not use a “scarlet letter” such as the large red “J” used by the Nazis on the front page of Jews’ passports. Instead, the “unique identifier” is tucked away in the final pages of the passport which are not easily seen by the public. I still firmly believe that the “unique identifier” is compelled speech and I am willing to file another IML lawsuit if and when we find our “Rosa Parks” plaintiff.

      • Austin

        Janice, what would a perfect candidate look like for this suit? Feel free to email me if you can see the email there.

      • TS

        @Janice, et al – I would like to know where it says that placement of government compelled speech in an inconspicuous or less than normally seen location makes it acceptable or more acceptable than something outright up front is unacceptable. Government compelled speech is government compelled speech regardless of the alleged inherent interest the Government has in this matter and its placement.

        When I was pulled over in 2014, the LEO asked me straight out after a wants and warrants search if I had a current registration on file at the cop shop despite no marker on my license. He knew I did, but asked anyway for whatever power trip reason. So, why is a license marker needed if they can do this (as noted in this thread already)?

        • M C

          @Janice, TS et al, I don’t think it should matter where the marking is. To me it’s a scarlet letter period because anyone you might give the passport to as a form of ID would be able to turn to the back cover and see it even if it is small or not emblazoned on the cover. Many people show passports as ID for various reasons and that would be a disclosure of your offender status if they look at it. You even have to show it boarding international flights where any airline employee could turn to that page. Do the airline employees need to see this?

      • New Person

        A person can use either the passport book or passport card. On a passport card, the demarcation is open to all just like a driver’s license. Hence, this can easily be comparable to the “J” identifier for a Jew in a concentration camp. When one travels and needs to book a hotel, your passport is how you are identified by the hotel or you will be denied residency for that night or nights.

        Once it’s established that the demarcation can easily seen on the passport card, which is akin to “sex offender” on a driver’s license, then you can relate that same demarcation exists within the passport book.

        People do get smart who look at passports often. People do share reports what certain demarcations mean.

        The “scarlet demarcation” is compelled speech because the government is forcing an individual to carry said demarcation on its person. The government is broadcasting the registry through your passport under penalty of law.

        I didn’t realize that the demarcation still has the same effect as writing “sex offender” until you denoted the “J” for Jews example. We already carry a registration card under penalty of law. Now, the passport is a secondary registration card that only applies on a certain group and no other.

      • David⚜️

        LOL! Perhaps the douanes (customs) and gendarmerie (police) will be more cooperative in these efforts on my next visit to France! 🤗😁

      • Tim in WI

        @Rosa Parks plaintiff,

        Ms. Parks refused to ” give it up” , meaning her bus seat.
        Therefore an ideal contesting candidate would necessarily would not have entered into a waiver of right on this sex issue and preferably a person who was convicted and sentenced term completed prior the date of IML act adoption.

        IS THAT RIGHT?

      • jeff

        We need a LAWSUIT again REGISTRATION for ONE Reason: Compelling me to TALK (aka fill out a form) and provide personal info while registration…..

        If a “so called” law enforcement approaches me at my door or on the street I DO NOT HAVE TO TALK to them, IDENTIFY myself or say a single word.

        But YEARLY i am FORCED to goto thier evil building and FILL OUT PAPERWORK in my OWN Writing compelling speech !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        What if I was BLIND and can not see to fill in a form and a SO CALLED LEO asked me my name or address and I REMAIN SILENT !@

        something to think about.

  3. TS

    This is in line with AL court ruling on this topic from 2019 but opposite 10th CCoA ruling via OK 2015(?). Good thing it was state and not Fed court. SCOTUS may not take it if appealed.

    • SCOTUS won't take it

      SCOTUS won’t take this case because they’ve repeatedly ruled on this as being compelled speech. It’s scary that a LA supreme court justice is unaware of the extensive case law out of SCOTUS. I guess the lone dissent is relying on the TX case with the Sons of the Confederacy?

      • TS

        IF you could please present the plethora of SCOTUS related cases that gives precedent which LASC completely unaware of (as you say), then we all here in this forum could review them. It appears from an online search, OK (10th CCoA), LA, and AL are the only the states who have had this DL topic challenged. You could read more here (which I am sure Derek will update with LASC findings in due time): http://www.oncefallen.com/state_ID_card_laws.html

        • @TS

          I said “a LA supreme court justice” not LASC as a whole. The 6 justices in the majority nailed it. My point was the dissenting judge is an idiot.

    • TS

      To follow up on my own entry, the AL case was a Fed District Case where LA was state (obviously), so both avenues have opined on this topic in favor of striking the verbiage where OK was a Fed District case (2017, not 2015 as I erroneously wrote above without a quick search online, but save from a memory effort).

  4. Laura

    Shame on all those who wrote, supported or issued this requirement before the Louisiana’s court system. Maybe all these individuals should be required to present their Nazi ID’s so we know who they are….!

  5. Saddles

    Oh dear David you are a legal argument. You might even be a legal argument. Lets all use some common sense for a change. Even Laura is using a bit of common sense. And remember it was a woman that gave the fruit to Adam. I hope that wets your brain studies a bit. One wonders why she gave the fruit to Adam. I am sure any of you logical people could figure that one out or is it all in the database on some computer disc?

    Now this virus is telling on everyone and as I remember when it started it was sort of a mockery on here of calling the kettle black. Hey when justice gets out of balance the whole world suffers in one way or another or what is this virus doing. One doesn’t think its promoting good will do they? And Tim your not gonna find that answer on no data base as that is a power beyond your’s or mine human intelligent.

    This sex offender thing on license is probably gonna wind up as a tier type issue because the word sex is taken out if this proposal. Guess sex is a dirty word to evven use in a court of law today or on a draft card. I’m sure one could visualize it ….. First sargent in combat classified ..sex offender first class… sounds like a psycho type ordeal.

  6. G4Change

    Surprisingly sane decision coming from the land of the legacy of Nutjob Jindal!

  7. Worried in Wisconsin

    If the sole reason for the marking is to enable LEO to identify one as a sex offender, then no marking is really needed at all. They routinely run every driver license they encounter, and the system will immediately let them know who is a sex offender and who is not, including a person who hasn’t complied with the requirement of having a marked license.

    • James

      Good point worried, and even if those systems weren’t in place, it would certainly be less restrictive on the registrant for the state to construct those systems than to compel people to have these brands.

    • Dustin

      And exactly why is it so critical that LE knows they’re “dealing with a sex offender” when asking for ID? Was there a glutton of on-duty LE officers assaulted or raped by registrants at some point?

      I’m guessing not. I’m further guessing that the primary point is either to find/create a crime to arrest the person. Secondary is simply to harass.

      • I rarely show my DL

        The *only* time I show my DL as my ID is when it has something to do with driving, such as being pulled over by LEO or if renting a car. Otherwise, I show my Passport Card. The few times I’ve been questioned on it, I tell the person I’m trying to minimize Identity Theft.

        • M C

          I have a passport card as well though if you get a marked passport you can not have the card apparently. I too use my passport card for ID except for when I’m required to prove I have a valid driver’s license. I don’t have a marked license or anything but I like the passport card because the drivers license has my address on it and unless someone has a reason to know where I live I don’t think they need to see where I do.

    • David⚜️

      @ Worried: Exactly. As if they don’t all have computers in their squad cars…. running every DL they touch. 😒
      (Which, of course, highlights a more important concern: Why aren’t they checking every driver’s license for previous DUI arrests/conviction? Far more relevant to someone who is operating a vehicle, don’t you think??)

      • Lake County

        David,
        I listen to the police calls all the time. Whenever they call in your vehicle license plate or your drivers license they report if you are a Felon, have any guns registered, if you’re a gang member, if you have prior domestic violence, any thefts, DUI’s, hit & runs, running from police, arsonist, prior drug charges, on parole or probation, warrants, any prior local police contacts and (in my county) lastly, they report “290 registrant” with no details. Pretty much cops are advised of everything important on your record.

        • M C

          @Lake County,. You are correct. At least in MN They even see the really old stuff like my offense even though it’s been judicially expunged (MN judicial expunge is court records only) and that I was once a registrant even when I no longer am. My car was stolen once from a mall parking lot so I called in to report it. When they arrived to the scene and I gave them my name they punched it into their computer and I saw it pop up. Their demeanor immediately changed too and I was treated like a criminal. They patted me down and made me sit in the back of the squad to take down the stolen vehicle report though they did apologize at the end saying that their Information on me made them feel they needed to take extra precautions for their safety. As if someone with a 20 year old sex offense and NOTHING else on their record at all reporting as being a victim of a crime is really posing that much of a danger to LE.

  8. Brandon

    Florida has the statue for offenders and Sexual Predator in red letters on licenses. How this could ever happen is beyond me; yet common sense isn’t common in lawmakers. Nothing of a person’s past should be on licenses. I thought this country believed in forgiveness and redemption except those with sex offenses. America the land of hypocrisy and run by unethical corrupt politicians.

  9. AERO1

    This is insane why do the lady at the bank hideing behind bullet proof glass need to know about someone’s past.
    It’s so obvious America has a hidden agenda behind this it’s so plan to see and sexofenders are the guinea pigs.
    The U.S government knows most sexofenders are cut off from society most have no love one’s who support them
    they are the most hated living creatures on earth and they can do whatever they want to them.
    For all we know they probably have sexofenders in Laboratorys studying them like lab rats sounds far fetched I know but the U.S government’s biggest fear of sexofenders is they truly believe that sexofenders can’t be rehabilitated so I wouldn’t surprised if they’re studying on people find out if this is scientifically true

    Good luck

    • Will Allen

      You said, “… most sexofenders are cut off from society most have no love one’s who support them …”. I really don’t think that is true. Do you? I think the opposite is true.

      Also, I read “sexofenders” as “sex offenders” and find it completely off-putting. If someone called me that, I’d have some names for them as well.

  10. Worried in Wisconsin

    IMO, the only reason laws like this exist is to allow a politician to put a feather in his/her hat and brag that they were tough on sex offenders. I don’t really think that all that much thought was put into it, and all the outrage you see on TV shown by politicians about sex offenders is ginned up for the cameras. Seems more like they’ll embrace whatever is the latest fear or concern that will get them re-elected.

  11. Greg

    I’m in Louisiana. Does that mean I won’t have to get a new license EVERY year (at full price) and a new ID EVERY year to satisfy the two forms of ID requirement?

  12. Adude

    This is great news! I was placed on the registry in Louisiana. It clearly states in the law, that the money that is paid into the yearly IDs, is to fund the state trooper retirement fund. My first thought is how can we SUE SUE SUE with this new ruling. I feel violated to the tenth degree. And have yet to talk with a person who thinks I should be on a registry. EVERYONE KNOWS it’s unconstitutional in its current form! It’s a JOKE. We watch Netflix in the rehabilitation class! On Halloween they make the tier 2 and tier 3 bring a blank money order to a location and sit all night. There is NO oversight, only PAY ME and then everything is ok. MERICA!

  13. LA SC decision URL

    Here’s the court’s Opinion: https://www.lasc.org/Opinions/2020/20-0323.KA.OPN.pdf

  14. TS

    From the National Office website comes this posting from King Alexander, atty in LA who deals with matters such as this for those who are forced to register:

    Surprise ruling from Louisiana Supreme Court ends “Scarlet Letter” ID (https://narsol.org/2020/10/surprise-ruling-from-louisiana-supreme-court-ends-scarlet-letter-id/)

  15. Alex Rodriguez

    Megans law.is not good tool.to Drive you must be of legal age .but people allow children to go on adults computors and serf the intrnent they should be of legal age.just like Drive a car . MEGANS LAW IS LEGAL SLAVERY OF PEOPLE WHO PAID FOR THERE CRIMES.BEING PUNISH OVER AND OVER AND OVER FOR SAME CRIME.THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IS BROKEN WHO CAN FIX IT.DONALD TRUMP .BIDEN.OR GOD.THIS IS THE U.S.A NOT THIRD WORLD COUNTRY WAKE UP THIS IS A UNF

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