A federal judge halted enforcement of a new Georgia law that bars sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Georgia’s sex offender registry includes more than 10,000 people. It’s not known exactly how many live within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop.
U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper raised questions about the constitutionality of the sex offender law. “While the Court recognizes and appreciates the importance of protecting the public, the Court cannot approve of doing so in a manner that offends the Constitution,” he wrote. In the lawsuit, the Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia contend that enforcement of the bus stop rule would drive thousands of sex offenders from their homes. Some sheriffs have spoken out against the provision, saying it would be unenforceable and cause them to lose track of some sex offenders who would be forced to uproot. Last week, DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown said all 490 sex offenders in his county would have to move.