“The bearer was convicted of a sex offense against a minor, and is a covered sex offender pursuant to 22 United States Code Section 212b(c)(l).” International Megan’s Law (IML), passed in 2016, prohibits the State Department from issuing passports to individuals convicted of a sex offense against a minor unless those passports are branded with this phrase. The federal government's decision to brand its citizens’ passports with this stigmatizing message is novel and jarring, but the sole federal district court to consider a constitutional challenge to the passport identifier dismissed the plaintiffs’ First Amendment claim, deeming the provision government speech. This Note argues that this passport identifier is more appropriately analyzed as a form of compelled speech, triggering strict scrutiny review that the IML’s passport identifier would not survive.
Alexandra R. Genord,
International Megan's Law as Compelled Speech,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol118/iss8/4