Saturday, April 23, 2016

Jon Brandt: Sex, Politics, Laws, the Courts… and ATSA [The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers]

Sex, Politics, Laws, the Courts… and ATSA, April 23, 2016
By Jon Brandt, MSW, LICSW

If we in the judiciary do not have the authority, indeed the responsibility, to right fundamental wrongs left excused by a majority of the electorate, our whole intricate constitutional system of checks and balances, as well as the oaths to which we swore, prove to be nothing but shams.”  

                                                                                                                                   Federal Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey
                                                                                                                                DeBoer v. Snyder, 2014

Sex educator, Dr. Marty Klein recently published a blog titled, “Politics?  I’m Interested in Sex, not Politics.”  His thesis is that sex and politics are inextricably connected, and if you care about rational public policies regarding the management of sexual behaviors, it helps to have a stomach for politics. 

There’s a natural tension between complex social problems, public opinions, and laws – perhaps that’s one definition of “politics.”  In a democracy, laws are frequently driven more by public opinion than sound science or constitutional principles.  Some “sex offender” laws seem to be driven by fear, anger, and misinformation, and resemble moral panic more than informed public policies.  When the lag-time for scientific advances takes too long to engender best practices or influence public policies, or when a compelling public interest can no longer justify laws that breach the boundaries of constitutional safeguards, often the courts step in.  Beyond the illustrations that Dr. Klein offers in his blog, there are many examples of laws that are (or were) unwarranted, overreaching, or unreasonably intrusive, and the courts intervened.  Consider these “sexual offenses” of yesteryear.


Please Help with Legal Fees Towards Possible Injunction and Court Challenge Against Virginia SB666/HB1190 from Becoming Law on July 1st 2016


Original Post:

It has been one month since I last posted about contributions to a possible legal challenge against a Virginia law that takes effect on July 1st. 

Since that post my husband and I drove to Northern Virginia to meet with a very good attorney and while we left the meeting a bit stunned and disappointed all hope was not dashed. 

Since that meeting we have paid the law firm to research our legal options, we’ve also had a conference call that went rather well and more research is being done as we speak. 

I hope to have answer on if a court challenge beginning with an injunction will or will not happen a month before the July 1st start date. 

None of this pre-work is free, nor is it cheap.