After the Georgia takings case was decided, I downplayed the importance of the decision. I felt that the takings arguments only applied to a limited number of cases under a few statutes. However, two more state courts have issued decisions in line with the Georgia ruling.
In Ohio, the Supreme Court ruled that the statute should not be construed to apply retroactively and, therefore, didn't have to reach the takings issue. From the press release (HT: Sentencing Law & Policy):
The Supreme Court of Ohio held today that, because a 2003 state law barring certain sex offenders from residing within 1,000 feet of a school does not expressly provide that its provisions apply retrospectively, the statute does not apply to an offender who bought his home and committed his crime before the law took effect. The 6-1 decision was authored by Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer.
Because the Court found that the residency statute does not apply retroactively, the justices did not reach or decide the issue of whether such a law, if expressly made retroactive by the legislature, would violate the Ohio Constitution’s prohibition against retroactive laws that infringe on an individual’s substantive right.
If the legislature decides to amend the statute to make it apply retroactively, then the court would be forced to address the takings claim and could go the other way. For now, though, there is no disagreement with the Georgia court.
Meanwhile, in Missouri, the Supreme Court unanimously struck down the portion of the state's residency restrictions that would have forced offenders to move (HT: Sex Offender Research). From the media account:
Dozens of Missouri sex offenders can continue living near schools or child care centers as a result of a state Supreme Court decision.
In a unanimous ruling Tuesday, Missouri's high court upheld a decision in May by a circuit judge striking down a portion of Missouri's sex offender statutes that could have forced the sex offenders to move.
Missouri, like many other states, has enacted progressively tougher laws targeting its roughly 7,200 registered sex offenders.
Since 2004, Missouri has prohibited sex offenders from moving into a home within 1,000 feet of a school or day care. A 2006 law expanded that ban to cover sex offenders who already lived near a school or child care center before the law took effect.
Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce declared that portion of the law unconstitutional because of its retroactive application. The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments on a state appeal Jan. 31 and ruled Tuesday -- an unusually speedy decision.
I'm very interested to see how these cases move forward. Ultimately, I stand by my belief that they won't have a long term effect because they don't jeopardize residency restrictions generally. However, I think if enough of these opinions are issued, the momentum may shift and I may be proven wrong.