The Supreme Court will soon consider whether to hear a First Amendment challenge to a Louisiana law that required driver’s licenses to identify sex offenders.

According to a Louisiana law, people convicted of sex crimes must use driver’s licenses with the words ‘sex offender’ in large orange letters below their photos.

It can make everyday encounters – with bank tellers, hotel attendants, supermarket cashiers, election officials, airport security officers and prospective employers – humiliating. Critics call the notation a contemporary blood-red letter. State officials said it protects the public from predators.

The Supreme Court of Louisiana hit the law last year and said it violated the First Amendment. State officials have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, one that raises important questions about public policy and doctrines about the First Amendment.



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