Reply To: Federal judiciary finally sees light: Restrictions are punishment


The ruling in the Sixth Circuit will only affect registrants on the Michigan sex offender registry. It will provide additional relief to registrants in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio who are similarly situated and affected by the same variety of restrictions—and who bring challenges seeking relief pursuant to the Sixth Circuit’s decision. We do NOT anticipate that this decision will remove anyone from the standard registration requirements as the challenge was successful only insofar as the state of Michigan has ADDED requirements to basic registration. This case should not be read as any kind of relief from the core requirement of registering as a sex offender. That is to extend the decision far beyond the questions presented to the Court.

In North Carolina, you should be most attuned to similar actions that make their way before the Fourth Circuit. Federal circuit court opinions only control in their geographical jurisdictions. For example, a similar decision (or any decision) by the Fourth Circuit would only be controlling in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.