Constitutional Collectivism and Ex-Offender Residence Exclusion Zones
Wayne A. Logan
Florida State University - College of Law
Iowa Law Review, Vol. 92, p. 1, 2007
FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 231
William Mitchell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 48
The U.S. has often been imperiled by the competing interests of individual states, and while past threats have most frequently assumed economic or political form, this article addresses a different threat: state efforts to limit where ex-offenders (those convicted of sex crimes in particular) can live. The laws have thus far withstood constitutional challenge, with courts deferring to the police power of states. This deference, however, ignores the negative externalities created when states jettison their human dross, and defies Justice Cardozo's oft-repeated constitutional tenet that the "the peoples of the several states must sink or swim together." The article discusses the continued need for this tenet in the face of state expulsionist tendencies and invokes in support the Court's decisions invalidating state laws barring entry of the poor and solid waste. In both instances, the Court, while acknowledging the exigencies motivating states, invalidated the laws because they betrayed the national imperative of dealing with challenges faced by all states. As the article establishes, a kindred understanding and resolve is now necessary as states seek to isolate themselves from the shared national responsibility of offender reentry.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 41
Keywords: sex offender, reentry, dormant commerce clause, buffer zone, registration
JEL Classification: K14, Z13
Date posted: May 19, 2006
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