Connecticut Dept. of Public Safety v. Doe, 538 U.S. 1, 9 (2003)

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Cite as: 538 U. S. 1 (2003)

Souter, J., concurring

as the Court's opinion demonstrates, a convicted sex offender has no more right to additional "process" enabling him to establish that he is not dangerous than (in the analogous case just suggested) a 15-year-old has a right to "process" enabling him to establish that he is a safe driver.

Justice Souter, with whom Justice Ginsburg joins, concurring.

I join the Court's opinion and agree with the observation that today's holding does not foreclose a claim that Connecticut's dissemination of registry information is actionable on a substantive due process principle. To the extent that libel might be at least a component of such a claim, our reference to Connecticut's disclaimer, ante, at 5, would not stand in the way of a substantive due process plaintiff. I write separately only to note that a substantive due process claim may not be the only one still open to a test by those in the respondents' situation.

Connecticut allows certain sex offenders the possibility of avoiding the registration and reporting obligations of the statute. A court may exempt a convict from registration altogether if his offense was unconsented sexual contact, Conn. Gen. Stat. 54-251(c) (2001), or sexual intercourse with a minor aged between 13 and 16 while the offender was more than two years older than the minor, provided the offender was under age 19 at the time of the offense, 54- 251(b). A court also has discretion to limit dissemination of an offender's registration information to law enforcement purposes if necessary to protect the identity of a victim who is related to the offender or, in the case of a sexual assault, who is the offender's spouse or cohabitor. 54-255(a), (b).*

*To mitigate the retroactive effects of the statute, offenders in these categories who were convicted between October 1, 1988, and June 30, 1999, were allowed to petition a court for restricted dissemination of registry information. 54-255(c)(1)-(4). A similar petition was also available to any offender who became subject to registration by virtue of a conviction

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