Thursday, January 26, 2017

Suit Attacks Sex Offender Registry Law As Restricting Religious Freedom

A federal civil rights lawsuit was filed this week challenging the extensive restrictions imposed by North Carolina's Sex Offender Registration Law.  The complaint (full text) in National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws v. Stein, (MD NC, filed 1/23/2017) asserts that those on the registry are banned from living in many areas, working in many jobs and being present in places such as libraries, colleges and houses of worship. The 88-page complaint contends that the restrictions infringe various 1st and 14th Amendment rights of registrants, including their free exercise of religion. Because almost all churches have youth activities, restrictions on registrants being near areas primarily intended for use by minors or where minors frequently congregate mean mean that registrants are unable to attend church services. NARSOL issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuit.