ST. PAUL (AP) - An attorney representing more than 700 sex offenders in Minnesota's civil commitment program is asking a federal judge to declare the program unconstitutional.

Attorney Dan Gustafson said in his opening statement Monday in St. Paul that offenders have almost no chance of getting out as the program is currently run.

He says a program that properly evaluated people should be identifying dozens or even hundreds who would qualify for less restricted settings.

Deputy Minnesota Attorney General Nathan Brennaman told the judge the program is constitutional. He says the program protects Minnesota citizens and declaring it unconstitutional would compromise that protection.

The trial is expected to last several weeks. If Judge Donovan Frank finds the program is unconstitutional, he may order changes.