Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South

Wussy GA Supreme Court Wavers

Posted by Maggie on December 14, 2007

Last month, the Georgia Supreme Court struck down the sex-offender residency restrictions. Whatever balls they may have had at the time have apparently shrunk, because yesterday they made a change to their opinion. The former ruling said:

We therefore find that OCGA § 42-1-15 (a) is unconstitutional because it permits the regulatory taking of appellant’s property without just and adequate compensation.

The new one changes the word “because” to “to the extent that”. Now the Attorney General thinks that only property owners are affected by the ruling. The Southern Center’s response is, “We disagree with this interpretation and believe that the decision should be interpreted to protect the rights of people who rent as well since the courts in Georgia have made it clear that renters’ property interests are protected by the 5th amendment.”

So much for being at the front of the issue with a clear opinion. Now it is all a big fat muddle as the Court appears to be frantically backpedaling . I’m not even sure I want any further clarification on what they mean. Anyone know of any time something like this has happened before? Let’s hope the federal class action has more success. (And I apologize about calling the court wussy and referencing balls and such, which isn’t a terribly useful or intelligent contribution to the discussion. But I’m rather pissed by the whole situation, so for today you’ll just have to deal.)

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