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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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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?

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… Read more »

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

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.

@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… Read more »

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

@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… Read more »

@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… Read more »

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… Read more »

@New Person who said “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.” If a person is deemed to get the unique identifier then they can NOT get a passport card.

To back up @LPH statement,

“Covered sex offenders cannot be issued U.S. passport cards (22 C.F.R. § 51.60(g)). You can apply for a U.S. passport book which will be issued with a unique endorsement.” https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/passports/passports-and-international-megans-law.html

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

@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?

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… Read more »

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 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?

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

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.

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).

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….!

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… Read more »

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

@ 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??)

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.

@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… Read more »

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.

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… Read more »

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.

As of Dec 16, 2020, the Louisiana DMV is still issuing the branded ID cards. How and why are they still allowed to do this if it unconstitutional?

@Confused

Just because it has been found as such, enforcement direction to cease and desist should come from above by a person in power who can make the call or a Judge’s order ordering cease and desist for those convicted of “certain sex crimes” as noted above.

This is because the state is trying to have it heard in the US Supreme Court and a stay was granted by Alito.

Unless I am utterly blind, I am not seeing a stay granted by Justice Alito but a response suspense date of Dec 18, 2pm for a reply to the motion seeking a stay along with docs filed in support.

Oh and by the way just like a “price club membership” Louisiana makes the argument that putting “Sex Offender” on a drivers license is no different that putting “In God We Trust” on a piece of currency. Its right in the brief filed to get the stay.

We will have to watch this one, I see it being relevant to IML passports.

@JDUyah

IIRC, the paperwork filed here mentions IMLpassport markings.

The stay was not granted. Alito agreed with Louisiana Supreme Court. So when can we get new unbranded id’s?

So will LA appeal then anyway to SCOTUS on this because they can? Wouldn’t that be the reason they were asking for a stay initially? I’d say so. I haven’t looked at SCOTUSBlog but if you know, please share.

I’d say if you’re one of the certain convicted offenders as noted in the case and findings, then press with getting a new unmarked ID there in LA. If successful, then please share here and the process underwent.

Not sure how you would have known this on Dec 18 because it hadn’t been ruled on yet however the Application for a stay was denied yesterday.

As anyone in Louisiana gotten an unbranded ID yet? When I call the DMV they say no one has told them to stop issuing them and act like they don’t know what I’m talking about. I spoke to an attorney and he said to just tell them to take off the branding b/c it was ruled unconstitutional and see if they will. I am thinking that is a waste of time. My id expires in 3 months and I will try it then, but I’d go now if I thought it would be taken off.

Print out the final court findings showing the brand is unconstitutional, give them a copy to read, and demand a new license/ID. Get a manager or supervisor involved.

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.

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?

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… Read more »

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/)

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

I just got off the phone with department of motor vehicles. As off January 4, they were notified if a SO walks in and request to have the drivers license branding removed they are to issue a new License. She said we now get a 4 year license but didn’t know if required to get a personal ID as well. Probably call your registration office. A win for the books

A personal LA ID also? A new LA DL is enough of an ID to anything in life. Why the need for a second ID (possibly include the branding there)? Must that second ID be on the person along with the DL? Please explain the need for a second ID in LA as it is written here.

According to the folks at the registry office, the personal ID is required because not everyone has the ability to get a drivers license. But everyone does have the ability to get a Personal ID. That is if you pay for one.

Thanks for the clarification on the personal LA ID.

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