Shouldn’t there be a challenge to the “one size fits all” federal law, to get these things done on an individual basis with facts of the case considered?

We agree that challenges should be made where appropriate. However, there will never be a single federal case that will bring down the registry once and for all. Registration of sex offenders is not done by the federal government. There are 50 distinctly different registry schemes in operation around the United States. Some are more punitive than others. Some registrants only report by mail for 10 years and their street address is not published on the internet. For these people, registration has not been sufficiently transformed by crazy politicians to the point that it is unconstitutional.

Don’t interpret this as endorsement of registration schemes. We firmly believe that all registration schemes should be abolished. We also agree that it would be preferable if more states utilized a risk-based approach. However, that is a policy choice for our elected officials to make. The courts do not have the authority to save us from bad policy choices made by our elected officials. They can only strike down laws that clearly violate the constitution. In that situation, it is OUR burden as the challenging party to demonstrate by the “clearest of proof” that a law is unconstitutional.

When a particular state crosses that line and registration requirements become punitive, NARSOL believes that the law should be challenged. Please understand that constitutional challenges are very expensive, because every state will vigorously defend its duly enacted laws. We would love to undertake challenges all over the United States but lack the financial resources to do so. Will you join and support us?

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