I believe the ruling from SCOTUS was that Congress had the right to provide “safety” for citizens and that the laws were civil in nature and not punitive. BUT, since that ruling, the states and local governments have piled on thousands of ordinances, statutes, and some state constitutional amendments, that are meant to be add-on punishment.
For an example, when a congressman refers to a Registered Sex Offender as, “vile scum of the earth” and that it is his duty as a legislature to make the cities like “burnt earth” to them, then a reasonable person can assume that vengeance and punishment is the goal.
How do I know that? Because I am a reasonable person and also a registered person who committed a sex offense in 1981, plead guilty in a plea bargain in 1986, finished paying my debt to society in 1991, and then starting in 1996, without any violations on my part, but solely for the crimes that were committed by others or by what lawmakers thought or envisioned, without proof, the crimes that could possibly be committed solely by “registered” offenders, the punishment(s) re-started and have been increased, added on, extended, and compounded on a yearly basis.
By the way, all of these things have taken place through Democratic, Republican, Liberal, and Conservative Local, State and Federal Administrations. I really don’t want to hear who’s on my side because I have proof that none of them are. I only hope that one day a reasonable SCOTUS will see our and our families plight and then act accordingly to their duty to uphold the US Constitution.