Monday, 19 June 2017

Supreme Court Strikes Law Barring Sex Offenders from Social Media

8-0. It was unanimous.

The U.S. Constitution First Amendment protects the freedom of speech. And now, according to the Supreme Court, an earlier law that barred sex offenders from using social media was struck because it impermissibly restricts that right.

North Carolina had made it a felony for sex offenders from using social media whenever the websites allow members to be children.

A man in that state who was a registered sex offender was charged after making a normal Facebook post. He challenged the charge. It went back and forth a little with the judges in the state and appellate courts, but the Supreme Court decided the state hadn't shown the sweeping law was necessary or legitimate.

One of the justices wrote, "These websites can provide perhaps the most powerful mechanisms available to a private citizen to make his or her voice heard. They allow a person with an Internet connection to ‘become a town crier with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any soapbox.’"

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