How can we educate the U.S. Supreme Court when they refuse to listen? One way is to make noise at their place of business so that they can no longer ignore us.
That is the foundation for the plan announced yesterday to hold a vigil on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on March 7, 2023, near to the 20th anniversary of the Court’s infamous decision, Smith v. Doe.
In that decision, the Court made a terrible a mistake, a mistake that has caused and continues to cause significant harm in the lives of more than 1 million people required to register as well as their families.
Because of that decision, families have literally been torn apart. Fathers have been removed from their homes and unable to care for or even view photos of their children. Mothers have been required to choose between their husbands and their children.
In addition, every person on the registry – male or female – has had and continues to face great challenges finding a job, any job and then keeping that job. Regardless of the number of degrees they been awarded or their skills.
There are additional challenges each person on the registry and their families face on a daily basis including homelessness and the threat of vigilante violence. It is no wonder then that some registrants choose to self-isolate, in the hope of becoming invisible.
Self-isolation and invisibility do not help, however. That is because when an individual takes this path it does not stop the constant rain of new laws passed by government at every level (city, county, state and federal) and applied retroactively due to Smith v. Doe.
Therefore, this is a clarion call to stop self-isolation and to become visible. To step onto the path of self-empowerment as an individual and as a member of a group that continues to grow in size and power.
There is strength in numbers when those numbers unify and sing the same song. The tune, “We Shall Overcome”, comes to mind.
There is much to overcome in order to provide those required to register as well as their families an opportunity to live productive and peaceful lives. The path to that goal includes educating the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the harm that has flowed from the terrible mistake it made in March 2003. The only way the Court can correct its mistake is to overturn that decision which is based upon a myth published in a magazine.
During the past 18 years, the Court has refused to review any case that could overturn Smith v. Doe including the recent decision by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Doe v. Snyder, which recognized that the requirement to register is punishment and therefore violates the ex post facto clause of the U.S. Constitution.
We should not and need not continue to hope and pray that the U.S. Supreme Court will come to its senses and overturn Smith v. Doe. Instead, we should and need to educate the Court regarding the gravity of its mistake. How better to do that than to stand on the Court’s steps with a long list of harms they have caused?
Please join us on March 7, 2023, on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. And together we shall overcome.