Connecticut Dept. of Public Safety v. Doe, 538 U.S. 1, 8 (2003)

Page:   Index   Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  Next



Scalia, J., concurring

hearing on current dangerousness is a bootless exercise. It may be that respondent's claim is actually a substantive challenge to Connecticut's statute "recast in 'procedural due process' terms." Reno v. Flores, 507 U. S. 292, 308 (1993). Nonetheless, respondent expressly disavows any reliance on the substantive component of the Fourteenth Amendment's protections, Brief for Respondents 44-45, and maintains, as he did below, that his challenge is strictly a procedural one. But States are not barred by principles of "procedural due process" from drawing such classifications. Michael H. v. Gerald D., 491 U. S. 110, 120 (1989) (plurality opinion) (emphasis in original). See also id., at 132 (Stevens, J., concurring in judgment). Such claims "must ultimately be analyzed" in terms of substantive, not procedural, due process. Id., at 121. Because the question is not properly before us, we express no opinion as to whether Connecticut's Megan's Law violates principles of substantive due process.

Plaintiffs who assert a right to a hearing under the Due Process Clause must show that the facts they seek to establish in that hearing are relevant under the statutory scheme. Respondent cannot make that showing here. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is therefore


Justice Scalia, concurring.

I join the Court's opinion, and add that even if the requirements of Connecticut's sex offender registration law implicate a liberty interest of respondents, the categorical abrogation of that liberty interest by a validly enacted statute suffices to provide all the process that is "due"—just as a state law providing that no one under the age of 16 may operate a motor vehicle suffices to abrogate that liberty interest. Absent a claim (which respondents have not made here) that the liberty interest in question is so fundamental as to implicate so-called "substantive" due process, a properly enacted law can eliminate it. That is ultimately why,

Page:   Index   Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  Next

Last modified: October 4, 2007