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IN: En Banc Seventh Circuit Hears Challenge to Indiana Sex Offender Registry Law

[ – 5/20/21]

Indiana argued before the full Seventh Circuit on Thursday that state law does not place unfair registration requirements on sex offenders moving to the Hoosier State.

At issue is a provision of the Indiana Sex Offender Registry Act requiring people convicted of sex offenses who relocate to Indiana to register as sex offenders, even if the crime was committed before the law was passed. The plaintiffs are challenging its retroactive application.

The requirement creates a situation where an Indiana resident who was not required register as a sex offender would have to register if they moved out of state and then chose to move back because they had a past conviction.

In January, a split three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit issued a ruling that upheld a lower court ruling and found that the registry requirement is unconstitutional because it creates two classes of citizens upon which it imposes a different set of rules.

“The other jurisdiction requirement of Indiana’s SORA imposes a duty to register and its attendant burdens upon a relocating citizen that it would not impose upon a lifelong Indiana resident. The privileges or immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits this differential treatment,” wrote U.S. Circuit Judge Ilana Rovner, a George H.W. Bush appointee, who authored the majority’s opinion.

However, the state disagreed with the split panel’s decision and asked for the case to be heard in front of the en banc Seventh Circuit.

Read the full article


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The duty to register by providing the eclectic mass of data demanded by state is plain indentured servitude to state property. Free men are paid wages to maintain property.
That is the difference between having a database versus the plain human life enslavement to the upkeep of same. Pretending the original intent of this plain indenture to the property lacked animus even in the face of plain identified ex post language in state statute is a case of an disingenuous intellectual blindness for the sake of court popularity. NO ONE but tyrants benefits from ignoring constitutional right on a mass scale. Yet, it happened! All of course wrought from the unique advantages of the database and the commoditization of personal information data.

IMO the Rehnquist court’s references to “procedural due process” as a ” bootless exercise” CONNECTICUT DPS03 was an obvious abandonment of the court’s duty hard won via Marbury v. Madison. Nevertheless, those words are in published opinion and reflects the court’s lack of faith in the criminal process itself. Similar to the innocent man who pleads guilty to a crime he did not commit, because the trial process for him too was perceived a bootless exercise.

Interstate and international travel in the sex offenders context illiterates nicely how misuse of the database infrastructure in question both overrs jurisdictional concerns and simultaneously imparting affirmative restraint to procedural process where all sides (parties) are represented. The basis for the 9-0 DPS decision was the fact state had obtained standard civil waiver from all of the plaintiffs. Those cases also contemplated only the singular state question and context. The multi and bistate transactions necessarily requires comparing individual state laws to one another and thereby reasonable need for a defense attorney for a balanced check on the administrative power.

Whether or not it’s legally true, the argument of registration being indentured servitude is legally dead. It’s been tried and repeatedly, and handily, swatted away. Time to let go of that non-starter.

AJ, How about the charging of fees for the privilege of registering? Have courts examined that, yet? Surely, if it’s a service to the public and not to be seen as punishment i.e. “civil regulatory,” then charging fees must be seen as punitive, not in service to the registrant and a cost to be born by the public, as a whole. Does it not give lie to the stated, and ostensibly constitutional, purpose of the regime?

I agree that there should be fees. Fees to people who want to view the registry. Instead of charging registered persons an annual fee, charge the public. Every time they want to look up a name, make them enter a credit card number. Charge a fee for every name they click on.

I heard most people don’t even look at the registry; yet they support it. If they want it they should pay for the service of being a professional projection harasser!! oh no someone pissed out 20 yrs ago. Oh no teens engaged in sex and one was a year older or younger than other. Oh no someone got online and got caught in sting or looked at someone naked. Oh no someone streaked. Oh no naked bodies and sex be damned. Nope leave people alone and it’s not your business to know of others past.

Yes, that would also create a simple trail if a vigilante attack happens.


This has been looked at somewhere – maybe someone else can cite the case (I don’t really feel like trying to find it today). Essentially if the fee is not so large as to make it be considered punitive then they can charge a fee. I’m, not sure that we know what that threshold for a fee amount is – which would make it excessive – but in the case I am thinking about whatever the fee was, didn’t meet it.

Though I don’t have the cases in hand or at easy recall, the notion of paying fees has also been repeatedly adjudicated. The notion of a user of some government services having to foot the bill for said services, at least partially, has been handled many times. Courts are fine (no pun intended) with it. Regardless of how one ends up in a regulatory situation with the government, one may be obligated to support the financial burden of said registration. That’s true whether the regulation is driving, doctoring, plumbing, or RCs.

Don’t kill the messenger, please. I don’t agree with it; I’m answering the question to the best of my recall and knowledge.

When have I ever killed the messenger, AJ? 🙂 Thanks for your comments and I’m sure you’re correct (as always) even if the rationale you describe is directly analogous to the Chinese practice of charging the family of the person they execute for the bullet. That just shows how much this country really does have in common with evil, despotic regimes, despite the best efforts of our Founders to erect a bulwark against despotism. Thanks!!

Maybe not killed but every now and then some crushing blows. 😂

AJ, such blows, as they may exist, are never directed at you, I assure you. My earlier criticism of the “big picture” of the reason why we are effectively forbidden to travel internationally was an attempt at consciousness-raising in our community, urging them to see past the drop-dead loopholes which lawmakers have exploited in the Constitution to show their real intention: malice and animus. I know that you agree about their motives and the cynical machinations to which they are put. The legal scholarly view is essential for assessing jurisprudential opportunity and the social deconstructionist view is for correctly identifying the cultural milieu in which we live. Not something we often hear, nowadays, but consciousness-raising is something we need desperately as a nascent movement if we are to ever get ahead. We need a much better, more elaborated, conception of the pathologies of this culture and our places within it. The self-hating, full-of-guilt model is not serving us well. It’s time to redistribute some of that guilt.

All these different states’ Registration laws are so f’ked up! They’re the delirium dreams of loser lawmakers.
“Well, your honors, if they were to move back to Buttscratch, Indiana on a Tuesday or Thursday, they’d be required to register because both days begin with the letter ‘T’. Whereas, had they moved to the next town over, Dogbreath, on a Saturday or Sunday – days which both begin with an ‘S’, then clearly no registration would be required. Unless, they had the middle name ‘Wilbur’ or ‘Winston’. In which case, registration is again required. Clear as day, you honors!” 🙄

It’s the endless proliferation of legal landmines, regulatory “gotchas” intended to keep one constantly unsure, constantly restrained for fear of a false footfall or inadvertent omission.

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