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Supreme Court asks for input of Solicitor General; what does this mean?

The news reached us this morning that the Supreme Court has asked the Solicitor General to weigh in before they reach a decision on whether to grant certiorari in the Michigan case of Does v Snyder. Questions immediately began pouring in, and one question seemed to sum up the concerns. The answer is written by Larry Neely.

Question:

I don’t understand all the confusion. Wouldn’t it be a good thing if the Supreme Court grants the state of Michigan’s Petition for Certiorari in the case of Does v Snyder?

Answer:

I will begin by explaining what action the court took today. The court did not grant Michigan’s request to review nor did they agree with the prevailing party in the case that the petition lacked merit and should be denied. Rather, the court invited the government of the United States to weigh in on the controversy. Thus, the answer to this question depends on one’s perspective. I am quite certain that all registrants living within the boundaries of the 6th Circuit would prefer that the favorable decision in Does v Snyder remain undisturbed. On the other hand, registrants living in other states would prefer that the reach of Does v Snyder be extended to them, so they are hoping that the Supreme Court decides to review and affirm the 6th Circuit’s decision.

If the Supreme Court rejects the Petition for Certiorari (request for review) filed by the state of Michigan, the 6th Circuit’s decision in Does v Snyder stands as the controlling authority within the 6th Circuit. This means the Circuit Court’s opinion would be the controlling authority for Michigan and all the other states within the boundaries of 6th Circuit. Beyond that, litigants in other courts will likely cite the 6th Circuit case as persuasive authority although it would not be binding. On the other hand, if the Supreme Court grants Michigan’s request and agrees to review the 6th Circuit’s decision, anything could happen, some of which would be very bad for us.

I agree that should the Supreme Court declines to review the case, the 6th Circuit decision does mean that a significant number of people will be freed from Michigan’s registry. However, I would caution against irrational exuberance here. There is nothing that would preclude Michigan’s Legislature from going back to the drawing boards and attempting to create a registration scheme that is not punitive. This is because the 6th Circuit did not find that the mere act of registration is in and of itself punitive. The Court found that the many enhancements added in 2008 and 2011 had transformed what had been a regulatory scheme into one that now inflicts punishment. Nothing would prevent the Michigan Legislature from modifying its registration scheme and peeling back the enhancements that resulted in tipping the analysis.

The Supreme Court is definitely an unknown, and one cannot predict the outcome; however, I am fearful of what they may do based on the court’s current composition. The case of Smith v Doe was decided in favor of Alaska on a vote of 6-3. Three of the six in the majority are still on the court, which is not encouraging. In addition, the chief justice (John Roberts) represented the state of Alaska. Assuming he has not had a change of heart, that would be a fourth vote. Then there is Samuel Alito, who generally tends not to side with those raising this type of challenge, and the likely addition of Neil Gorsuch to the court later this year. You can be the eternal optimist and hope that Gorsuch, Alito, and Roberts will side with us, which would produce a 6-3 vote to uphold the 6th Circuit. Or you can be the pessimist and believe that the Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions will vigorously fight to preserve the duly enacted laws of the United States as he has vowed to do in his Senate confirmation hearings. Only time will tell.

 

 

 

This topic contains 59 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Fred 3 weeks ago.

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  • #8181 Reply

    admin
    Member

    I have to chime in here and say that NARSOL does advocate for the end of a public registry in favor of a law-enforcement only one. Research does not support public notification as promoting public safety, nor is it shown to provide prevention or protection to children or other victims.

  • #8180 Reply

    jerry

    CP, none of us are saying that we shouldn’t have to per se, what we are battling with here is the exhaustive length of time that we have to do it. i think that many of us do believe that the registry is not a bad or wrong thing, but come on… A lifetime registration… Especially for some of those who are tier 1 and had just a misdemeanor? Let’s say for a moment that you are a drunk driver and you not only received a 3rd drunk driving, but others were hurt, not killed but hurt. Now the judge finds you guilty and sentences you to 6 years in prison. You serve your time and are released on parole. Shortly before your release your told that you have to be put on a 15 year registration because of this drunk driver registration law that was passed a few years ago in memory of a family that got killed by an anonymous drunk driver calling it the spaulding law in honor of that family’s last name. So now you are say, half way finished with being on that registry, but now you get another letter stating that a new law has been passed because a little baby died in a drunk driving accident and you’ve been reassessed and have to be on a lifetime registry. i ask you CP is that justice, constitutional? Were not saying do away with the registry, were saying give us our due process rights like every other criminal.

  • #8179 Reply

    Jim

    Bert, your discouragement and frustration are certainly understandable, and I expect all of us who are registered citizens have considered, more than a few times, just giving up. Most offenders I have known are not monsters, they are men (and women) who made some very poor decisions which resulted in some very hurtful (for the victim) actions. But, we must not allow ourselves to be categorized by society, and ostracized to the point we are rendered powerless and hopeless. Whether things get better for us, or worse, we must strive to maintain our dignity and integrity. Weakness and shame can overtake us only to the degree that we allow ourselves to be molded by the opinions and unjust laws of society and government. We must never give up the fight to regain what is rightfully ours by virtue of the Constitution. However, we must fight, not from a position of anger and despair, but with a calm voice of reason and steadfast determination. I applaud those who possess the courage to continue holding their head high in the midst of such seemingly overwhelming odds. Be encouraged Bert. Injustice can never crush the spirit or silence the voice of those willing to meet it with hope and perseverance. Hang in there, and no matter how difficult the road ahead let us never lose hope that positive change will come.

  • #8178 Reply

    Bobby

    To everyone that is talking about, or concerned about Michigan’s Does v Snyder. I spoke with Ms Aukerman the the ACLU Attorney that. Brought the case, she told me that we should have a decision in the fall but she did not say if it would be early fall or late fall. She also told me as far as Michigan v Temelkoski goes, we should have a decision by July or maybe sooner. Not sure what or how this will effect Snyder or vise versa.

  • #8177 Reply

    Marie Eaton

    Does in the Snyder case need to ensure to emphatically show the effects on families of registrants as well as punitive effects on the registrants themselves.

  • #8176 Reply

    admin
    Member

    The Supremacy Clause applies to the states. That’s why it is supreme. States may not enact laws that are in conflict with a Supreme Court decision. So, in response to your question, if the outcome is positive for the registered citizens of Michigan, it will be a positive outcome for the registered citizens of every other state because those states cannot maintain registration schemes which continue to impose ANY restrictions that the Court disallows. However, we are really way ahead of ourselves since we have no way of knowing how the Court will decide Snyder if it grants the petition. The decision is just as likely to be negative as it is positive.

  • #8175 Reply

    Rich

    I understand SCOTUS opinions are law of the land. State laws vary state to state. My question is moreso how can a positive (for sex offenders) opinion be adapted state to state.

  • #8174 Reply

    admin
    Member

    If the Supreme Court takes the Snyder Petition it will hear the case and render an opinion. ANY opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court becomes the law of the land by virtue of the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution (Article VI, Clause 2).

  • #8173 Reply

    Rich

    Can Sandy, who I assume is a legal person, explainhow if this goes well for offenders that the decision could benefit those in other circuits. Thanks

  • #8172 Reply

    In Search of Liberty

    This reply is specifically for the person tilted “CP” above. CP you may or may not be cognizant of a little know document written about, oh, 250 years ago by a group of guys who dared to want a little thing called FREEDOM from a tyrannical king. And they did so under penalty of DEATH! The document? The “Constitution of United States”. This document was written to ensure that Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” would not be denied any human being, man or woman. Basically, this document set forth the rules and regulations to follow for a new country called the United States of America. Some of the rules set forth were 1) EX POST FACTO laws are PROHIBITED, 2) everyone is to be afforded DUE PROCESS, 3) no CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT, 4) PRIVACY is fundamental, 5) everyone gets EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAW. CP, registred citizens are denied all of these constitutional rights!!! Is denial of these rights what you advocate? If think so think about what the prominent Nazi POW Martin Niemoller warned:

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

  • #8171 Reply

    CP in a holding pattern I guess

    Hey CP,

    Still waiting for your reply on your reasons why you feel the way you feel about the registry.

  • #8170 Reply

    Reply to CP

    Well CP, I will turn this around and ask you why you think there needs to be a reason to disclose your living situation and be publically registered if you have completed the terms and conditions of the penalty phase?

    The idea of a registry is taking off in many directions now, e.g. registry for felons, DUI, etc and not just for those who are convicted of a crime related to sex or not sex, e.g. public urination, mooning, Romeo & Juliet romance, etc. It really is a feel good thing for those who are insecure, want to profit from the registry, need political votes or want the focus on others while they continue their yet to be caught similar criminal ways and nothing more than that (sad, but very possible), e.g. Dennis Hastert, Mark Foley.

    So what if your neighbor was a white collar felon who has to register for all the public to see? Why should that matter? Who are you to judge them if they have completed their penalty phase and are free to go about the world? Who cares if the neighbor has a DUI driving record? It is their problem, not yours. Every time they get into a car, you never know if they have had a drink or not, but then again, the same goes for anyone who gets behind the wheel of a car, so the highlighting the neighbor alone is stupid. Highlight all drivers then if you need to highlight the possibilities!

    All a registry does is highlight the mistakes people have allegedly made and ostracize them for all to see. There is no need for that.

  • #8169 Reply

    Bobby

    Well CP, my conviction was in 92, before Michigan even had a registry, and I was placed on it anyway,not even by a judge,just because I was on parole when the Registry was created. My so called conviction was CSC 2nd a he said she said thing. My so called victim is now deceased, unfortunately she was Murdered a year ago Feb 2nd and dumped behind a old abandoned garage,fully clothed but bare foot. Cops claim over does,maybe,but some one placed her there,so to it was Murder.

  • #8168 Reply

    Fred
    Keymaster

    What victim? Countless people are on the registery for no contact crimes.

    The real question is why do you need that much information?

  • #8167 Reply

    Rick

    In 1994 I was 20 she was 15. This was not forced and both agreed too what we did. We still both live in the same town talk and say hi when we see each other, she has a good job and doing very well.She has a daughter that is 18 and so do i. They are best friends , and as i write this they are on a spring break vacation together in another State. A friend of mine was 19 and got his 15 year old girlfriend pregnant, they are married now. Their son is 20. By law he should be on the list but he is not. He did not go on to look for young girls or kids to molest. He is not looked at as a predator like they do me. I also have a 15 year old daughter, would i want her to date a 20 year old? No. I believe i deserved to be punished , and i did. But i no longer deserve to be punished . Sometimes i cant wait to die so this will be over.

  • #8166 Reply

    George

    Why do you think you must know that information? Statistical evidence shows that once an individual has been adjudicated for a sex offense the recidivism rate for another sex offense is extremely low, contrary to what is commonly thrown out there as fodder for people such as yourself.

    Your ignorance about this issue is blaring, educate yourself before you make a fool out of yourself. The days when citizens who are required to be on the registry meekly stood by and accepted the sort of attitude that you are exhibiting are OVER. I don’t know your background, I don’t know your motivation for voicing your point of view. What I doubt though is that you are a perfect individual who has never done something shameful. It’s been my observation that the guilty dog barks loudest.

  • #8165 Reply

    admin
    Member

    I have not committed a sexual crime nor am I on the registry, but I will give one simple answer (there are hundreds).
    Public registration works against public safety and rehabilitation. All it does it punish. It does not make society safer. It does not protect children. Studies show that it creates conditions that can actually make society less safe.

  • #8164 Reply

    CP

    So for each of you on here: What are the sex crime(s) you were charged with and committed? What about your victim(s)? What happened to them? Why do you think you do not have to disclose where you live and be registered?

  • #8163 Reply

    Tim

    Yes know how you feel, I have to watch my self as under this life sentence, I am very angry with this whole non christian, after all are we not suppose to forgive people, especally after such a length of time when they have done nothing of this magnitude before or after the life sentencing to registration

  • #8162 Reply

    Bert Friedman

    I’m so tired of being on this witch list. I no longer am able to read and absorb things. I feel like the stress and depression that goes with being registered is finally beating down my spirit. I asked God and prayed so long ago before this registry when I was placed on probation for my 30 year old crime to heal and guide me and so he did. Fast forward some 20 years and I was arrested and forced to register.
    Due Process
    Liberty
    Happiness
    Constitution
    Rehabilitation
    Justice
    Balances
    Truth
    Forgiveness
    these and many other words are slowly being pushed out of my mind as EXTREME anger and depression enter. I am a survivalist and I will not go down like some wimpy thing made to take his medicine.
    I’m tired of all of this my days are numbered. Good Luck to you if you are still fighting. I’ve got 1 good fight left in me. Then Im going to let out the years of being fucked with for something I paid my debt for and moved on with.
    Written through my dripping tears as I no longer care very much about what is written on some paper some fool put together. In the End I will do Gods work.
    Ich Ben dur Krieger als dur Russhie Tigre

  • #8161 Reply

    Bobby

    This reply is for Chris, thank you for your reply, I asked Ms Aukerman the Attorney from the ACLU who is in charge of the Doe v Snyder case. She told me since the SG is now involved, that SCOTUS will probably take the case,and we should know something by fall,now I don’t know if she meant they will review in the fall or they will have a final decision in the fall. She did say a while back ago that I could either be removed all together or that I would go back to 25 years which would be up on June,since they moved my registration date to my conviction date of 6/19/1992 or they could move my registration date back to 1995 in that case I could still be on it till 2020 when I am 51. I guess know it’s just waited and see what happens.

  • #8160 Reply

    Chris

    In reply to Bobby:

    Thousands of people were added to registries retroactively; you aren’t alone. In my case, NC’s social media ban is being applied to me retroactively. I can’t even get on Facebook or Twitter to advocate for myself. Your inclusion on the registry is a direct result of the SCOTUS ruling in Smith v Doe, allowing retroactive application. In fact, there is a fair chance that you may still be required to register even with a Snyder win because of Smith. Since they ruled that requirement to register and public notification are not punitive, that may be held over while other restrictions (residential, etc.) enacted since your crime are not allowed retroactively. Don’t expect Michigan lawmakers to just roll over on this.

    I’m sure I did not ever say it was fair. I think the whole idea of a registry is unfair. It is what it is. If I was in your shoes, I would expect to continue to register until SCOTUS hands down a decision. Unfortunately, that may be a year from now (or more) but at least you might have some relief in your future. Hundreds of thousands of us do not have that.

    Keep in mind that I am not an attorney. I just read a lot and try to do my homework on this stuff.

  • #8159 Reply

    Bobby

    Ok, Chris I am from Michigan and I was convicted in 1992 before Michigan even had a registry and I was not told by a judge that I had to register, I was automatically put on it retroactively when the registry was put into place. So how do you explain that one. Also even though the 6th Circuit found it puntive and all of Michigan’s stays were denied,and now SCOTUS has it in their hands, I was still told by Ms Aukerman from the ACLU to still continue to register until we have a final decision by SCOTUS. How is that fair.?

  • #8158 Reply

    David Kennerly

    That’s correct. Also, for those who imagine that Obama’s final, but frustrated, pick for the Supremes, Merrick Garland, would have lent a more liberal ear to this potential hearing, they should be disabused of that assumption. I believe that he would be significantly worse for us on the Court than Gorsuch. His record is hardly that of a civil libertarian.

  • #8157 Reply

    Chris

    More Detailed Version:

    As I understand it:

    To your first question: Yes and no. The 6th Circuit found Michigan’s registry scheme to be punitive in effect. In the context of that lawsuit, it means that the statute violates Ex Post Facto protection, and that registry requirements cannot be applied retroactively: Registrants are only bound by registry requirements and limitations that were in effect when their crime was committed.

    This ruling doesn’t automatically apply to any other state besides Michigan. Registered citizens that live in states within the 6th circuit could sue and the 6th Circuit should be bound by its own precedent. Residents in within other circuits could sue (as NCRSOL has in NC) and attempt to use the 6th Circuit’s ruling to bolster their case but the 6th Circuit ruling is not binding in other circuits.

    As to your second question: Yes, the Supreme Court could agree with the 6th Circuit. (Let’s all just assume that they will grant review.) If SCOTUS upholds the ruling below (the 6th Circuit ruling) then that means that they feel Michigan’s SOR scheme is punitive in effect and can’t be applied retroactively. This is the desired outcome because if the registry is ruled punitive, then the next obvious step is to challenge all registry requirements as “Cruel and Unusual Punishment.” The fact that it is unusual is easily argued, since no other major class of ex-offender is targeted the way “sex offenders” are. So then the question becomes, “Is it cruel?” I’d say yes, as would most of us. This is where studies of collateral consequences are worth their weight in gold.

    The other alternative is that SCOTUS overturns the 6th Circuit ruling. This would essentially invalidate any and all claims of punitiveness in regards to registries. Our only hope of ending the registries at that point is to lobby with legislators at the state and federal levels for change.

  • #8156 Reply

    Chris

    In a sentence or two:

    Yes and No

    Maybe

    See more detailed version….

  • #8155 Reply

    Michael

    A Solicitor General typically files a response to a CVSG 3 times a year; May, August and December.

    Not sure where you are getting 5 “tough on crime” Justices. Gorsuch, although a Rightist, isn’t a shoe-in on a pass to the state of Michigan. Again, he dissented in United States v. Nichols, which was a SORNA case.

    Gorsuch: “Beyond this matter of statutory interpretation, though, lies a constitutional question that deserves more notice. If the separation of powers means anything, it must mean that the prosecutor isn’t allowed to define the crimes he gets to enforce. Yet, that’s precisely the arrangement the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act purports to allow in this case and a great many more like it.”

    Judge Gorsuch’s decisions on the 10th Circuit

    In Nichols, Gorsuch highlighted an underlying constitutional question: was it permissible for SORNA to delegate to the AG the authority to decide whether and when sex offenders convicted before the date of SORNA’s enactment were required to comply with the law’s registration requirements. His response to that question was that a law like SORNA that would have Congress “effectively pass off to the prosecutor the job of defining the very crime [i.e., nonregistration] he is responsible for enforcing” is “[b]y any plausible measure … a delegation run riot, a result inimical to the people’s liberty and our constitutional design.”

    I don’t know how he could rule on the side of Michigan in this case.

    Also noteworthy is that shortly after the Sixth Circuit’s ruling, Michigan formally requested that SCOTUS stay the effect of the Snyder ruling, a request which was rejected, because there was either not a substantial question or because there was no good cause for the stay. At any rate, I think we’ll see SCOTUS take up review of Doe.

    ….

  • #8154 Reply

    Coram Nobis of Smith v Doe

    As someone wrote on another blog, which I will share here, is it time to file a Coram Nobis case to take on Smith v Doe to challenge the erroneous data used previously or any other case where the data was erroneously used?

    Is there a legal eagle who can answer the specifics of the who, what, where, when and how of getting one going if agreed it would be time to do so given all of the data presented which counters the false “frightening and high data” point?

    https://sosen.org/blog/2015/06/17/time-to-file-a-petition-for-writ-of-error-coram-nobis-in-smith-v-doe.html

  • #8153 Reply

    Mig L

    Can someone explain to me in a sentence or two what this all means? Does this mean that the 6th Circuit has deemed the sex offender registry as punitive (punishment) and the SCOTUS could do the same as well? If this happens, does that mean that the registry is unconstitutional and will no longer exist?

  • #8152 Reply

    Biol57

    I agree with your analysis, however, I believe that Ginsberg would be firmly on our side. Ginsberg (with Breyer) wrote the dissent in Smith v. Doe saying:

    “Measured by the Mendoza-Martinez factors, I would hold Alaska’s Act punitive in effect. Beyond doubt, the Act involves an “affirmative disability or restraint.” 372 U. S., at 168. As JUSTICE STEVENS and JUSTICE SOUTER spell out, Alaska’s Act imposes onerous and intrusive obligations on convicted sex offenders; and it exposes registrants, through aggressive public notification of their crimes, to profound humiliation and community-wide ostracism. See ante, at 109, and n. (SOUTER, J., concurring in judgment); ante, at 111-112 (STEVENS, J., dissenting in No. 01-729 and concurring in judgment in No. 01-1231).

    Furthermore, the Act’s requirements resemble historically common forms of punishment. See Mendoza-Martinez, 372 U. S., at 168. Its registration and reporting provisions are comparable to conditions of supervised release or parole; ”

    https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/538/84/case.html

  • #8151 Reply

    admin
    Member

    Actually, no, if you go into the history of this, Hitler didn’t actually say it. It has been accredited to him, but it was actually a manufactured quote derived from a passage in a fictional letter written by Rabbi Daniel Lapin in 2004.
    So obviously fake news isn’t anything new!

  • #8150 Reply

    NH Registrant

    Lin,

    An interesting quote that was brought to my attention when I got embroiled in the sex crime mess:
    “The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”

    The speaker? None other than Adolf Hitler in his book Mein Kampf. Strange how our supposed “democracy” is using his playbook.

  • #8149 Reply

    NH Registrant

    In Search of Liberty,

    Due Process gets violated with many people in US courts every single day. But, it happens to people with sex crime charges even more because the public is taught to hate anyone who is even accused of a sex crime through their TV propaganda: the evening news and shows like Law & Order SVU. In my case, in particular, due process was violated in the most egregious way as my lawyer was continually denied the constitutional right to have the “evidence” examined by an expert. We were only allotted ONE expert analysis and, wouldn’t you know it, more evidence magically appeared after a plea deal was drawn up for the initial evidence findings. We were not allowed to have an expert look at THAT evidence and that evidence was used to lengthen my sentence from 1 year to 7 years. So much for due process.

    I also agree that these laws are appearing to be a precursor to similar laws being passed against non-registrants. We are the “testing bed” so to speak. If one class of people can be vilified and all constitutional rights stripped from them, who is next? We cannot call ourselves a democracy when classes of people are stripped of the very rights they were born with in this country.

  • #8148 Reply

    Chris

    For my part, I don’t see any scenario where Snyder isn’t granted cert. The case is too important. I can see how it could be a bad thing; if SCOTUS overturns Snyder, it would essentially open up whatever punitive measures the states want to impose without fear of reprisal. A crushing blow.

    On the other hand, the 6th circuit’s ruling was very largely based on empirical evidence and the fact that Michigan’s SOR scheme does not achieve its stated goals in light of the evidence. That will (or should be, HAS TO BE) the crux of the Does’ argument. The state claims that this evidence is “disputed social science.” They conveniently omit that more studies support the Does’ claims than the state’s, so which is more disputed? They also claim that ” setting public-safety policy is a task entrusted to the legislature, which has the institutional competence to study relevant statistics, to draw conclusions from those statistics, and to enact policy accordingly.” I would bet that a million or so American citizens would vehemently disagree.

    As for potential outcomes, I am generally optimistic. I can see Kennedy looking to right a wrong that he has no doubt been advised of at least once in the last 14-15 years. I think we can probably count on Sotomayor, Kagan, and Breyer (who hinted at unconstitutionality of SOR during Packingham). Ginsburg is a toss-up, I think, but she is less conservative than the others. I wouldn’t count on Alito, Roberts, or Thomas; they tend to be ultra-conservative. That leaves Gorsuch who, as others have noted, dissented in Nichols. He could be our 5th. Of course, if Ginsberg rules in our favor, Gorsuch’s vote won’t matter, but the more the merrier we will all be.

    IMO, Michigan is showing its hand a bit when one of its points (in its petition) is that if the 6th circuits ruling stands, the state will lose federal money. How can a judicial entity that is sworn to uphold the US Constitution concede that money is more important than liberty and basic human rights? Regardless of the outcome, I hope SCOTUS chastises the state for putting the lives of citizens and their families at ground level on the totem pole of importance.

  • #8147 Reply

    Jim

    I agree completely. If registration isn’t punishment, then what’s to say that EVERYONE couldn’t be compelled to register just for being alive. The purpose of the registry is to expand to include more and more people until eventually everyone is required to register.
    Keep in mind we now have a president who wants people of certain faiths to register.
    Where would this end?

  • #8146 Reply

    Conceptual thinking (cont’d)

    So, what do we want? Review and gamble SCOTUS may find registries are unconstitutional, etc (SCOTUS has overturned themselves before) or Non-Review and sacrifice the 6th Circuit states for the good of the nation and then slowly watch the rest of the country catch up to the 6th Circuit while Congress scrambles to find new federal laws to compensate?

    There is more than federal money at risk here, but money received from those who have to pay a fee to register. I think, the kicker is the rest of the world is watching too on this since we are a nation of rights and freedoms, supposedly.

    (RVWNRAL – any word on the Colorado case that takes this topic head on? They maybe waiting for what is happening here?)

  • #8145 Reply

    Hopefully…….

    Hopefully it stops when the SCOTUS recognizes the exigent fact that citizens are being stripped of their constitutional rights after they have paid their debts to society. Passing laws that control peoples lives should not be an easy thing to do. There should be some type of unbiased judicial review board in place that looks at the constitutionality of proposed laws and fact-checks supporting data regardless of what the law is established to protect. You are absolutely right about your concept: Unchecked, registries restricting citizen rights will grow just as surely as weeds take over the garden.

  • #8144 Reply

    Conceptual thinking

    I may be off base here, but I have to share anyway on this topic and registries from a conceptual level.

    There are registries for many offenses, e.g. Ohio has a DUI registry, states have felony registries, etc, but they are not effective as people are finding and actually are detrimental to people (not just RCs – Registered Citizens). What is interesting is what SCOTUS determines COULD be applied to ALL registries conceptually, not just RC registries, which is in interest in here.

    It is mentioned many times in an analogous manner, first they came for this group of people, then this group of people, and so on; so, if what you do on one type of registry is applicable, then it could be spread to others. Not saying it will, but conceptually, it is possible. Where does it stop then?

  • #8143 Reply

    Rajendra

    I have had similar thoughts before. I see it more like some evil people (or force if you will) who want to create the one world government and keep most of the population under its control, working behind the scene to bring about, keep, or increase these draconian laws as a means or weapon of subjugation first to a small group of people (who are generally not liked) and then increase their stranglehold to the rest of the population. These people exploit naive or seemingly right things, but then twist them to their advantage to act against people in general. After all who would be against protecting the children? Protecting the environment?

    If you ask a random person in the street what he/she thinks about personal privacy and individual liberty, he/she will respond in favor of privacy and liberty. But then add “terrorists” and/or “pedophile” in the same sentence, and these same people will be willing to give up their privacy and rights without any thought.

    Gradually, the Constitutional of the US has been reduced to mere paper, and for people in the registry, not much different from the paper used in toilets.

  • #8142 Reply

    Josh

    In Kansas we already have a violent offenders and drug offender registery.

  • #8141 Reply

    Michael

    I wouldn’t be so negative about it. If the 6th Circuit’s ruling stands, eventually it will apply outside of Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. If SCOTUS takes it up and Gorsuch is on the bench, he ruled against SORNA retroactivity in United States v. Nichols.

  • #8140 Reply

    Michael

    I might agree with you if it weren’t for the fact that state Supreme Courts that have ruled against retroactive aspects of the SOR laws in many states. In PA, for example, The PA Supreme Court’s ruling against SORNA led the state to change it’s law to apply to “AN INDIVIDUAL WHO, ON OR AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE” to register. That effective date is December 12, 2012. If you have not been convicted of, or are incarcerated or on a form of supervised release for a crime requiring registration after that date, the law can not be applied retroactively to you. The caveat is, you would have had to complete a period of registration prior to the effective date [and you get credit for registration on ANY registry in the United States (Jackson v. Commonwealth)].

    As I stated above, Gorsuch might be key in ruling against retroactive application of SORNA, at the very least. In United States v. Nichols he dissented and objected to how much regulatory power a federal statute [SORNA] gave to the Justice Department to apply its rules to those guilty of sex crimes predating the act’s enactment.

    ….

  • #8139 Reply

    Michael

    “On the other hand, if the Supreme Court grants Michigan’s request and agrees to review the 6th Circuit’s decision, anything could happen, some of which would be very bad for us.”

    Not necessarily. Gorsuch might be key in ruling against retroactive application of SORNA, at the very least.

    In a CNN write-up of Gorsuch’s key rulings:

    “In this [United States v. Nichols], in a dissent from the full 10th Circuit’s refusal to rehear a three-judge ruling with which he disagreed, Gorsuch strongly objected to how much regulatory power a federal statute — the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) — gave to the Justice Department to apply its rules to those guilty of sex crimes predating the act’s enactment.

    In his words, ‘the framers of the Constitution thought the compartmentalization of legislative power not just a tool of good government or necessary to protect the authority of Congress from encroachment by the Executive but essential to the preservation of the people’s liberty …'”

    I am not convinced that he would rule on the side of government in the retroactive application of SOR laws.

    “This is because the 6th Circuit did not find that the mere act of registration is in and of itself punitive.”

    Although true, look at the number and scope of those enhancements.

    In Doe v. Snyder, the Court of Appeals decided that retroactively imposing punishment without individual risk assessment or due process violates the Constitution. The court said a registry that does not include individual risk assessment cannot meet the state’s professed goals of public safety, and it found clear evidence that the registry does not effec­tively contri­bute to public safety: “offense-based public registration has, at best, no impact on recidivism” and laws like SORA “actually increase the risk of recidivism,” probably because they make it “hard for registrants to get and keep a job, find housing, and reintegrate into their com­munities.” The Court found that “[t]he requirement that registrants make frequent, in-person appearances before law enforcement … appears to have no relationship to public safety at all.’

    Those enhancements alone would throw an extremely large monkey wrench into the effectiveness and application of the SOR laws in EVERY state should SCOTUS take it up on review if Gorsuch is on the bench.

    IMO, you want SCOTUS to take it up on review.

    ….

  • #8138 Reply

    T

    It seems that the more confusion they creating like this, the easier it is for these crazy laws to past.

  • #8137 Reply

    Lin

    Michigan is already considering another registry for people convicted of “child abuse”. They haven’t voted or even set a date for a vote and it’s really not clear if this will pass or not due to the cost – not whether it’s a good idea or not. Or perhaps they are waiting to see what will happen with this case. Who knows?

    This is something I have feared for awhile, the use of registries will grow. Again, it’s under the guise of protecting the children and will most likely be used in the same way the current one is, not to mention the reality of its usefulness. This is beyond ridiculous.

  • #8136 Reply

    Lovecraft

    Robin, i have no idea what i was thinking, im still a bit under the weather. Of course we/others can file after cert is granted. I just wanted every Avenue covered and as many creditable people on this if needed and if the time comes.

  • #8135 Reply

    In Search of Liberty

    Oh my God, here we go again with another Smith case. Ladies and gentlemen I believe there are some very, very powerful behind-the-scenes forces at play here. Forces that have a “vested interest” in keeping sex offender (SO) laws in place which leads to me think that there are other esoteric components involved here. What am I saying? I believe SO laws are merely “precursor” laws, designed to pave the way for more punitive and restrictive laws that will be applied to all US citizens somewhere in the near future. Call me a conspiracy theorist if you want to but think about what’s going on here. What keeps SO laws in place? 1) the court says because these laws are not punishment. But did they (SCOTUS) ever define exactly what punishment is? I don’t recall, so exactly what is their definition of punishment? Think about what I’m trying to say here. 2) SCOTUS said even when SO laws are applied to people years (in my case 13 years) after their conviction and sentence, they still do not violate Ex Post Facto and Due Process (Substantive or Procedural). So why in the hell are Ex Post Facto and Due Process prohibitions in the US Constitution? So it is NOT punishment to be denied “life, liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”, NOT a violation of Ex Post facto when applied AFTER your conviction and sentence;NOT a violation of the 14th Amendment Due Process right when NOT given notice of charges against you and right to defend yourself in open court, then, denied right to confront your accuser, i.e., the State. So what the hell is going here if NOT a bigger, long range conspiracy? To conclude, here is my prediction. I don’t if anyone else sees this but, by use of deductive reasoning tells me that SCOTUS signed its intent as to Snyder when they asked the SG to submit a brief. I call it COVER. They can’t affirm the 6th Circuit’s decision because Snyder will then be law of the land and this will open up an avenue for 10,000 law suits over the country challenging state SO laws. So they have to grant cert, hear the case, and then overturn the 6th Circuit. Why do I think this? Because again, there are very, very powerful behind-the-scenes at play here with an estoteric long range agenda for everybody.

  • #8134 Reply

    Dave

    The court is asking the solicitor general what? Who knows the law better then the judges? Basically by asking the solicitor general anything means they will be considering things that are not the law in their decision. What a joke!

  • #8133 Reply

    J

    I am very optimistic!

  • #8132 Reply

    Fred
    Keymaster

    I apologize for being so negative. I am one of those people who got my hopes up too high and was really let down this morning and I needed to vent. I probably should have kept my thoughts to myself.
    It is not hopeless. One of the things the Solicitor General often considers is whether or not the lower court was divided in its ruling. In this case they were not. 3 judges from the 6th agreed on the ruling. Then when the state asked for review by the full court, they were told no. So the Supreme Court doesn’t need to help straighten out a divided ruling, and there is a reasonable chance the Solicitor General will point that out.
    There is still some reason for concern though, and my main intention for posting the comment below was to make sure everyone is prepared in case it doesn’t go the way we hope and maybe motivate us to find a way to make our concerns heard before the decision is made.
    The pattern for me lately seems to be, when I get my hopes up I get let down. So now I am applying a little reverse psychology on myself, but again I should had kept that to myself. I am sorry.

  • #8131 Reply

    rwvnral

    Please understand that the comments are not NARSOL’s. Anyone (for the most part) can comment on a posting.

  • #8130 Reply

    Tod

    Every time I read a story through this organization my heart sinks even further. Fred extreme doom and gloom, Scenario paints a very dark picture to be very sad about. Sometimes ignorance can be bliss, rather than reading how bad it could be, and probably will be, and knowing that it’s almost impossible for anything to change for the positive, what’s the point of having hope, when it’s stripped away when reading what people think they know in their special crystal ball. Larry at least gave options on both sides, and as far as I know, no one has invented a method to predict the future.
    Maybe it’s time to start figuring out what country we can move to and live a free and happy life.

  • #8129 Reply

    rvwnral

    Absolutely. If the Court grants cert, there will be ample opportunity for amicus briefs to be filed.

  • #8128 Reply

    Lovecraft

    At the very least would it be possible to add additional briefs or have the michigan aclu or whoever is representing the registrants request to add some since the SG has been requested to submit a brief? We need all hands on deck on this one! There needs to be several different groups supporting us like in packingham. I believe they had 6 or 7 different briefs. I dont have to explain how much more important snyder v doe is compared to packingham. We need to have many more supporting briefs that reflect how important this case is and im not saying packingham is worthless by any means, but the scope of snyder is everything. What can we do? Can narsol get in touch with the registrants of michigan to help or facilitate help? Im willing to do whatever i can, but i dont know where to start.

  • #8127 Reply

    rwvnral

    I agree with your assessment, Nick. Packingham is a weathervane of the Court’s current composition and will very likely provide some useful signals about how the Court understands registry-related restrictions. We must keep in mind that Smith v. Doe rested upon the premise that registration alone (the simple publication of a person’s criminal conviction) was NOT a violation of Due Process because the Court did not construe such publication as punitive either by design or in effect. The Sixth Circuit’s analysis in Snyder clearly distinguishes from Smith v. Doe on that very point and concludes that the restrictions Michigan has added to the basic requirement to register are punitive both by design and in effect. Packingham is a relevant case because it concerns restriction although it doesn’t necessarily concern punishment and certainly not Ex Post Facto. But still, the Court will be speaking in these areas in its disposition of Packingham.

  • #8126 Reply

    Nick

    The Packingham case is a good preview of where the individual justices stand on registration restrictions.
    I’m willing to bet Kennedy has softened his stance, Kagan and Sotomayor were not on the court for Smith
    and both seemed skeptical of North Carolina in Packingham. I don’t see how the U.S. solicitor General is going say anything different then the Michigan Attorney General did arguing for review.

  • #8125 Reply

    Fred
    Keymaster

    Allow me to sum it up a little further on what we are likely looking at, in my opinion.

    The Solicitor General’s job is to defend federal laws. Michigan is using the Adam Walsh Act, a federal law. The Solicitor General will most likely recommend that the Court grants Michigan a review, and the Court almost always follows the Solicitor General’s recommendation.

    The Solicitor General is known to take months before submitting his views and the Court will likely take another month or so to read it and conference on it. So for those of us hoping the waiting would be over today, I am sorry to say it is going to continue and this time the wait will be even harder, as many of us had high hopes that we would be able to start moving on after today and putting our lives back together. Many of us are crushed by this news and feeling depressed or hopeless.

    If we are lucky, the case will be heard by the Court sometime in the Fall, but it is likely going to be heard by 5 “tough on crime” Justices, whom are unlikely to rule in our favor. When the Justices rule that Michigan is NOT breaking Ex Post Facto laws by adding restrictions retroactively, we can then expect even more punishing and oppressive laws to be enacted for us to follow. Those of us who are currently registering for 25 years, can expect that to be changed to life. Reporting requirements and frequency will also increase.

    If this bleak picture I just painted turns out the way I predict it will, the Court will be giving the State Governments the power to do anything they wish to people convicted of sex offenses. This is very disheartening and discouraging.

    I think we should make efforts to come together and discuss the best way to address this potential outcome before it is decided on, rather than cross our fingers and hope for the best. What are our options in this matter? Can we discuss that?

  • #22563 Reply

    Fred
    Keymaster

    Thank you for bringing that to our attention. It has been removed now. We are very sorry that some how slipped through the cracks.

  • #22561 Reply

    DW

    Why in the world is there a pornographic video on this discussion line? Why has it not been removed. This would seem to be counter-productive to NARSOL’s mission statement.

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