The California Supreme Court on Monday made sure the state’s controversial Jessica’s Law will remain clouded by legal uncertainties for the foreseeable future, even though it ruled that the state can continue restricting convicted sex offenders from living near parks, schools and other spots where children gather, says the San Jose Mercury News. In a 5-2 ruling, the Supreme Court dodged the central issue in a challenge to the 2006 law’s residency restrictions. But the justices rejected several legal arguments against the measure, keeping the law in place for the time being.
The justices concluded that the law could apply to thousands of sex offenders who were on parole when Proposition 83 was adopted, even if their crimes and convictions predated passage of the law. The justices, however, did not rule on the most sweeping argument in the challenge to Jessica’s Law: that it is so broad and intrusive, it violates the constitutional rights of convicted sex offenders. The court ordered further hearings on that issue because of the need to evaluate the factual claims of the four sex offenders represented in the case.