Constitutional Law and the Role of Scientific Evidence: The Transformative Potential of Doe v. Snyder

[Note: Friends of Justice is a personal blog. I speak only for myself.]

Abstract: In late 2016, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit’s concluded in Does #1–5 v. Snyder that Michigan’s sex offender registry and residency restriction law constituted an ex post facto punishment in violation of the constitution. In its decision, the Sixth Circuit engaged with scientific evidence that refutes moralized judgments about sex offenders, specifically that they pose a unique and substantial risk of recidivism. This Essay is intended to highlight the importance of Snyder as an example of the appropriate use of scientific studies in constitutional law.

Read the article by Melissa Hamilton in the Boston College Law Review.