Earlier I reported on the lawsuit in the Northern District of California challenging the new “International Megan’s Law” which codified a program previously put in place by the United States Marshall’s Service called “Operation Angel Watch.” Under that program, the Marshall’s Service notified foreign countries when a convicted sex offender was traveling to their country. As a result of this program, we’ve seen a number of people being turned back at the border, particularly into Mexico. Despite vigorous opposition, Congress passed into law the “IML” which required convicted sex offenders to give twenty-one days notice before traveling and provided that their passports must have a special designation that they are a convicted sex offender.
A civil rights group filed suit challenging the law but were dealt a setback last week when a US District Court Judge in California denied the group an injunction barring the enforcement of the law. While it is not “game over,” things are not looking good. The judge opined that there is no constitutional right to international travel . She also, however, suggested that challenges to the identifier are not ripe for judicial review because the regulations have not been finalized for these passports.