INDIANA – A federal appeals court this week upheld Indiana’s Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA), affirming the arguments presented by Attorney General Todd Rokita and his team.
“Indiana’s sex offender registry is designed to protect children, families, and all Hoosiers from those who have committed sex offenses,” Attorney General Rokita said. “The appeals court was right to reject claims that Indiana’s system is unfair or wrongly discriminatory.”
On Monday, the full U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals voted 7-3 to overturn a district court decision that held, among other things, that Indiana’s sex offender registry system violates the constitutional “right to travel” by discriminating against offenders who have moved into Indiana from other states where they were required to register.
Rejecting the district court’s conclusion, the appeals court explained that the Constitution “simply does not prohibit a state from incidentally burdening travel to or from the state. . . . Because both old and new Indiana residents are treated equally under SORA and Indiana’s Ex Post Facto Clause, we hold that the law does not violate plaintiffs’ right to travel.”
The appeals court remanded the case, Hope v. Indiana Department of Correction, back to the district court for consideration of a remaining claim the district court had not addressed.
“We will continue to defend Indiana law,” Attorney General Rokita said. “And we will continue to advocate for protecting Hoosiers from sex offenders.”
Attorney General Rokita thanked Deputy Solicitor General Kian Hudson for his work arguing this case on behalf of the state.
The appeals court’s ruling is attached.