By NARSOL . . . Congress’s enactment of legislation permitting the State Department to mark the passports of registered citizens and notify nations about their pending travel is reprehensible. It is beneath the dignity of the United States to brand its own citizens with a mark of derision and shame, a mark that will very likely close a great many borders to our citizens or, even worse, subject them to physical and emotional harm in a foreign land. For this reason, the National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (NARSOL) stands in opposition to the International Megan’s Law (IML).
NARSOL values its members and donors . . . and most especially the money that is entrusted to us by so many concerned and generous persons. NARSOL was first in the effort to raise funds for an IML challenge, and those financial resources are still available for this purpose. NARSOL’s board of directors was concerned that a challenge at that point was premature; there were too many unknowns, making it imprudent to take action under those circumstances.
However, at this juncture NARSOL believes the time is right to move forward with a serious constitutional challenge to IML with claims which are likely to be found meritorious by a federal District Court judge. To that end, NARSOL is assembling a team of attorneys and professionals entrusted with evaluating the very best strategy for attacking IML, identifying plaintiffs, discerning the right venue, and pulling together the most compelling claims to include in a serious complaint.
NARSOL utilizes a litigation model in which we sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the law firm handling the litigation. The MOU provides for us to receive a pro rata return of our contributions if there is a favorable outcome and an award of fees and costs at the conclusion. This assures that we can grow our litigation fund and apply the winnings to new challenges.
Challenging IML will not be easy. There are much more attractive and winnable claims related to sex offender registries that NARSOL will have to pass up in order to focus on this issue. We are keenly aware of the thousands of registered citizens in this nation struggling with their right to procure housing and jobs, participate in their children’s school activities, attend church, or visit the local mall. Some cannot move freely within their own state due to similar marks on their drivers’ licenses.
These fundamental constitutional rights are being trampled across the nation and are a much higher priority for citizens who feel NARSOL should focus on them rather than the privilege of visiting a foreign nation. But dealing with IML is clearly an urgent matter for people who are accustomed to traveling outside our nation’s borders. Nevertheless, we call on our supporters to bear in mind the full measure of struggles we are facing across the board.