Boyd v. Washington is among the cases on tomorrow’s Supreme Court of the United States conference calendar.
The question at issue in that case is “Whether the requirement of frequent, in-person reporting renders an offender-registration law punitive, such that applying the law retroactively violates the ex post facto clause.”
We are hoping the SCOTUS selects this case to be heard and will keep you updated on their decision.
Another interesting case we’ll be watching is Michaels v. Whitaker which concerns the law banning a felon from possessing a firearm. The law in question is 18 U.S.C.§922(g)(1), which, as amended, prohibits “any person . . . who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year” from possess[ing] in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition.”
The plaintiff in that case, Barry Michaels, is not a registrant, but was an independent candidate for senate who had a criminal history. His Petition for Writ of Certiorari states, “[a]s a person gaining some notoriety in the public eye, Petitioner desires to purchase a firearm for self-defense in his home but refrains from doing so only because he reasonably fears criminal prosecution under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). It is for this reason that Petitioner filed his underlying action against the government.”
Like the overwhelming majority of registrants, the petitioner’s crimes did not involve firearms. Like many of us his crime was a long time ago and he’s been offense-free since. Like all of us who are on the public registry with our picture, home address, vehicle information, etc. out there for the public to see – he is in the public eye.
Perhaps more compelling than the Petitioner in this case, registrants have a target on their back as a result of the registry, are commonly the victims of vigilantism and have an interest in being able to defend themselves in their homes.
This case is an important one to watch because, as it states in the petition, this case “Will Determine Whether Millions of Felons Living Responsible Lives in Compliance with the Law Have an Opportunity to Prove Their Entitlement to the Fundamental Second Amendment Right in Defense of Hearth and Home”.
We want to know… As a registrant, how important are your second amendment rights to you? Would you feel more comfortable if you had the means to protect yourself and your family with a firearm?