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Connecticut Dep't of Public Safety v. Doe

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Citation Edit

Connecticut Department of Public Safety v. Doe, 538 U.S. 1 (2003) (full-text).

Factual Background Edit

In the statute at issue, Connecticut required persons convicted of sexual offenses to register with the Department of Public Safety upon their release into the community, and required that the Department post a sex offender registry containing registrants’ photographs, names, and addresses on the Internet.

U.S. Supreme Court Proceedings Edit

The court unanimously held, in a decision written by Chief Justice Rehnquist, that this statutory scheme did not violate the Respondent’s procedural due process rights under the 14th Amendment.

Because the law’s requirements turned on conviction alone, and not a finding of current dangerousness, it was not necessary for the State to provide a separate hearing to determine the risk posed by sex criminals before putting them on the registry. The Court did caution, however, that because of the case’s procedural posture, the Court expressed no opinion regarding the substantive due process merits of the statute.

In the same vein, Justice Souter’s concurring opinion emphasized that an equal protection challenge was not foreclosed by the Court’s decision.

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