Denied the same Educational Opportunities Granted to other Felons.

In a recent conversation with one of our new members they explained to me that they had been given the opportunity through one of the Urban League’s programs to receive some job training that would help them to get a better job. They applied for that opportunity and received an interview for the job training program. At the time of the interview they were told that they would not be allowed to participate in the program because they had received a sexual conviction. I spent some time today contacting that Urban League office. While talking to the office staff I found out it was not the policy of the Urban League to deny anyone access to their programs, but instead that their programs are funded through a federal grant from the Department of Labor. The Department of Labor has said that no one with a sex crime conviction can be involved in programs that receive any federal funding from their agency.

To me, this makes absolutely no sense that the federal government is willing to fund training programs for all those who have had criminal convictions in their past with the exception of the people with the lowest re-offense rate of any convicted group. Does this seem like discrimination based on fear, hatred, and bigotry, either by the legislative body, or the people in charge of the rulemaking within the Department of Labor to you? This is also the same government that is denying housing to people with sex crimes. Again, this is not based on a statistical threat to the public, it is based solely on the myths that make people involved in sex crimes are thought to be more dangerous than anyone else with a criminal conviction.  Myths that are based on a lie. (/blog/2015/07/07/destroyed-families-destroyed-lives-all-because-of-a-lie.html)

This backward thinking by federal officials only adds to the problems of homelessness and joblessness which has been proven to increase the re-offense rates for all people with felony/criminal convictions. From where I stand, this is an obvious violation of Article 1 Section 9 of our Constitution in that, No Ex-post facto Law or Bill of Attainder may be passed. Obviously denying one group of people access to government funded programs Is in fact, a bill of attainder/lesser pains and penalties.

Within the U.S. Constitution the clauses forbidding attainder laws serve two purposes. First, they reinforced the separation of powers by forbidding the legislature to perform judicial or executive functions—since the outcome of any such acts of legislature would of necessity take the form of a Bill of Attainder. Second, they embody the concept of due process, which was partially reinforced by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. The text of the Constitution, Article I, Section 9; Clause 3 is “No Bill of Attainder or Ex-post facto Law shall be passed”.

Just exactly what is a Bill of Attainder, and would a law passed or a rule or regulation made by a government organization fall under the definition of a Bill of Attainder?

According to former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist: a Bill of Attainder is a precise legal term which had a meaning under English law at the time the United States Constitution was adopted. A Bill of Attainder was a legislative act that singled out one or more persons and imposed punishment on them without benefit of a judicial trial. Such actions were regarded as odious by the framers of the Constitution because they understood that the traditional role of a court was to judge an individual case, first to determine guilt, and only thereafter to impose punishment.

In Cummings v. Missouri, 71 US 277 (1867) the court wrote “A Bill of Attainder, is a legislative act which inflicts punishment without judicial trial and includes any legislative act which takes away the life, liberty or property of a particular named or easily ascertainable person or group of persons because the legislature thinks them guilty of conduct which deserves punishment”  Through the opinion in Cummings we see the justification for the Bill of Attainder prohibition – it is a means to protect individual liberty and private property (or interest in private property, namely future wages)

The fact that the Department of Labor has set up restrictions either by law or by their rule-making specifically aimed at people with sex crimes and is denying them access to education that would allow them to apply for higher paying jobs, quite obviously is in fact a Bill of Attainder.

There is also a similar case where Congress attempted to ban a group of people from using food stamp’s Dept. of Agriculture v. Moreno, 413 U.S. 528 (1973) This law was found to be unconstitutional under the 14th amendment equal protection clause. In that case the court stated “The legislative history that does exist, however, indicates that that amendment was intended to prevent so-called “hippies” and “hippie communes” from participating in the food stamp program. See H.R.Conf.Rep. No. 91-1793, p. 8; 116 Cong.Rec. 44439 (1970) (Sen. Holland). The challenged classification clearly cannot be sustained by reference to this congressional purpose. For if the constitutional conception of “equal protection under the laws” means anything, it must at the very least mean that a bare congressional desire to harm a politically unpopular group cannot constitute a legitimate governmental interest. Thereby denying education to people with sex crimes can be viewed as a violation of the 14th amendment equal protection clause as well as Article I, Section 9; Clause 3

If this is the case of rulemaking on the part of the Department of Labor, it may open up their rulemakers to being charged with a federal crime Under title 18 U.S.C. section 241 conspiracy against rights, as well as title 18 U.S.C. section 242 Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law and under title 18 USC section 245 federally protected activities. Section 1 E. a participant in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. People with criminal convictions for sex crimes are a easily defined group/class and a subclass of felons. Felons have been found to be a class of people by the US courts.

So my next question is, where are the organizations like the ACLU and independent constitutional attorneys that are going to take on this quite obvious violation of the constitutional rights of certain individuals by our government agencies?

8 comments for “Denied the same Educational Opportunities Granted to other Felons.

  1. Steve
    July 28, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    If I recall correctly, President Bill Clinton occupied “federally-funded” housing (namely the White House and prior to that, the Governor’s Mansion in LittlevRock) during his many many sexual transgretions, including the Monica Lewinsky fiasco. Does Slick Willie have to reimburse the housing costs during those periods? Or the Senators convicted of sexual misconduct crimes while holding public office, with continued federally paid pentions?

  2. Scott
    July 30, 2015 at 5:05 am

    Makes me wonder what they think about the porn industry and the billions of dollars they make while potentially soliciting prostitution male or female. It’s got to be all about the money.

    Could be a job:
    I would be more in tune to ask sex offenders who have been convicted to educate those who are new offenders as long as they haven’t been in any more trouble in 10 or 15 years. I say this because they have already been through it and they know what to look for when it comes to minimizing and covering up the who’s guilty or shame.

    I applied for a loan to start my own business and i was denied and never was told why. Perhaps it was fear of a discrimination lawsuit. Still unemployed and no business yet…

  3. KayT
    July 31, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    If punishment for a crime is supposed to end the day one gets out of prison, what are all of the restrictions for? To deny affordable housing (HUD) and training/gainful emploment, the basics of survival, is there no law that will challenge this kind of denial of basic needs?

  4. Tim E.
    August 4, 2015 at 10:11 am

    OK … then how do we get around the BS “verbal gymnastics” of the CIVIL instead of CRIMINAL rendering of EX POST FACTO ? I am open for suggestions, and am more than willing to start slinging Court papers …..

    • Will Bassler
      August 4, 2015 at 10:47 am

      it’s not about ex post facto . It’s about Bill of attainder and violation of the 14th amendment equal protection also take a look at title 18 section 241 through 243 . If the legislators are conspiring to remove a person’s constitutional rights than they can be charged Roberts versus US Jaycees 104 SCT at 3244 . Government actions that may unconstitutionally infringed upon this freedom can take a number of forms. Among other things government may seek to impose penalties or with whole benefits from individuals because of their membership and disfavored groups . City of Cleburne Tx versus cleaburne living Center 105 SCT 3249-3255 (1985) a bare desire to harm a politically unpopular group, are not legislate state interests in plain terms, singling out a group and denying them access to any federal funded program is in fact unconstitutional. But just like parole and probation that continually get away with adding restrictions and requirements that are illegal to people on parole and probation until these people are dragged into court. They will continue with business as usual stealing constitutional rights from citizens.

    • Tim L
      August 4, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      Tim E…

      “indenture” Abolished by the XIII except as “punishment” having been duly found in err by court. While states have successfully extinguished SOR as such Alaska V. Doe & ex post. No one has yet challenged the states position with respect to indenture.
      Hope this gives you some hope
      Tim L.

      • Tim
        August 19, 2015 at 5:58 am

        Yes … I fully understand the “Bill of Attainder” theory; my entire point is when are we, as S.O.’s gonna stop preaching to the choir & start to aggressively attack all of the legal questions….. and, by the way, Ex Post Facto is a common argument we are dealing with Sir…. as dealt with in a good friends case which was heard before the SCOTUS … 529 US 513 (2000), and originally addressed in 963 S.W. 2d 833, ….. some of us out here also have a wee bit of experience is legal matters too & I have LONG AGO read the cites you have referred to Sir ………. but back to my original thought, WHEN are S.O.’s going to unite and begin to form a collective front, and coordinated attack of all of the BS ? ….. by the way, I once lived only a few miles from Cleburne & am well aware of that case cite as well…………. there are several avenues of attack, not just the Bill of Attainder ..

  5. Scott
    September 15, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    likewise, many SOs don’t even know what rights they have left with all the restrictions. Where can they work?? Where can they live?? Who will represent the offender when most lawyers won’t represent them when it comes to equal rights and civil rights matters??

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