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Knowledge as PowerCriminal Registration and Community Notification Laws in America$
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Wayne A. Logan

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804757102

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804757102.001.0001

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Law, Privacy, and Governance

Law, Privacy, and Governance

(p.134) 6 Law, Privacy, and Governance
Knowledge as Power
Stanford University Press

This chapter considers the most significant influences the proliferation of registration and notification has had on U.S. society and its governing structure. It begins by examining the ways in which constitutional legal norms have been affected by the challenges lodged against registration and community notification laws since the 1990s. The resulting opinions, and two in particular from the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003, bear considerable jurisprudential significance, both relative to the particular constitutional provisions in question and the institutional role of the judiciary. Attention then turns to the laws' impact on understandings of informational privacy. In this context, too, registration and notification have had transformative effect: not only have they muted historic anxieties over government surveillance, they have redefined core understandings of what qualifies as “public.” Finally, the chapter addresses the important ways in which registration and notification have altered American governance. In both subtle and overt ways, registration and notification have recast traditional notions of public safety, with critically important consequences for individuals, communities, and governments. More broadly, as a result of ongoing pressure from Congress to adopt federally prescribed registration and notification policies, historic understandings of state-federal relations have been transformed.

Keywords:   registration laws, community notification laws, American society, informational privacy, governance, public safety

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