A United States District Court Judge ruled on a lawsuit challenging the state of Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry Act on Friday, Feb. 14.
Judge Robert Cleland sided with the plaintiffs in the case and ruled parts of the SORA are unconstitutional.
The court held oral arguments on the case on Feb. 5 at the U.S. District Court of Eastern Michigan in Port Huron.
One portion of the act the court ruled was unconstitutional was the retroactive application of SORA’s 2006 and 2011 amendments.
The court declared those amendments “violates the Ex Post Facto Clause of the U.S. Constitution.”
“For several years, registrants have been forced to comply with unconstitutional provisions of SORA. The parties, and this court, expected that the Sixth Circuit’s ruling would spur legislative action, and for some time, it appeared that the legislature was poised to pass a new and comprehensive statute, obviating the need for this opinion. Unfortunately, the legislature was not able to finalize a new registration statute,” Cleland’s ruling reads.
The court must invalidate the portions of SORA that violate the constitution, the ruling reads.
“In so doing, the court recognizes that its ruling will fracture the existing structure of SORA. However, the court anticipates that its ruling will reignite efforts to finalize a new, unified registration statute that can survive constitutional review, as has the national model, SORNA,” the ruling reads.
The judgement becomes effective 60 days after ruling to allow the legislature to enact a new statute.
Some of the portions of SORA that have been ruled unconstitutional include registration requirements and reporting requirements.
You can read the full ruling below: