Connecticut Dept. of Public Safety v. Doe, 538 U.S. 1, 10 (2003)

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10

CONNECTICUT DEPT. OF PUBLIC SAFETY v. DOE

Souter, J., concurring

Whether the decision is to exempt an offender from registration or to restrict publication of registry information, it must rest on a finding that registration or public dissemination is not required for public safety. 54-251(b), 54-255(a), (b). The State thus recognizes that some offenders within the sweep of the publication requirement are not dangerous to others in any way justifying special publicity on the Internet, and the legislative decision to make courts responsible for granting exemptions belies the State's argument that courts are unequipped to separate offenders who warrant special publication from those who do not.

The line drawn by the legislature between offenders who are sensibly considered eligible to seek discretionary relief from the courts and those who are not is, like all legislative choices affecting individual rights, open to challenge under the Equal Protection Clause. See, e. g., 3 R. Rotunda & J. Nowak, Treatise on Constitutional Law 17.6 (3d ed. 1999); L. Tribe, American Constitutional Law 16-34 (2d ed. 1988). The refusal to allow even the possibility of relief to, say, a 19-year-old who has consensual intercourse with a minor aged 16 is therefore a reviewable legislative determination. Today's case is no occasion to speak either to the possible merits of such a challenge or the standard of scrutiny that might be in order when considering it. I merely note that the Court's rejection of respondents' procedural due process claim does not immunize publication schemes like Connecticut's from an equal protection challenge.

[For opinion of Justice Stevens concurring in the judgment, see post, p. 110.]

prior to October 1, 1998, if he was not incarcerated for the offense, had not been subsequently convicted of a registrable offense, and had properly registered under the law. 54-255(c)(5).

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