Supreme Court strikes down sex offender social media ban

CNN NEWSOURCE

CNN NEWSOURCE

The United States Supreme Court has, in a ruling pertaining to a case where a college student preyed on an underage girl, struck down a law enacted by North Carolina that imposed a blanket ban on sex offenders.

On Monday, Kennedy wrote the court's opinion, highlighting the state's reliance on Burson and noting, "That case gives little or no support to the state", explaining that the polling place-barrier was "a limited restriction" aimed at "protect [ing] another fundamental right - the right to vote" and that the restriction is "far less onerous" than North Carolina's law at issue here.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the court's decision that this is one of the first cases the court has taken to address the relationship between the First Amendment and the modern Internet.

'It's a crime to do anything, including what Mr. Packingham did, which was to say "God is good" because he was victorious in traffic court.

The court has ruled that in this day and age if someone isn't on a social network, they will not be able to frequently interact with society even if they have the purest of motives. No fine, no court cost, no nothing spent. No nothing. Praise be to God. Wow. "It is cyberspace-the "vast democratic forums of the Internet" in general. and social media in particular".

Alito, in agreeing that "the law in question can not satisfy the standard applicable to a content-neutral regulation", also wrote that the majority spoke too glowingly about the Internet. "The Court is unable to resist musings that seem to equate the entirety of the Internet with public streets and parks", Alito wrote.

As in the first case, Alito agreed with Kennedy's ultimate decision striking down the law "because of [it]'s extraordinary breadth", but he expressed concern with the "undisciplined dicta" - language unnecessary to the court's holding - in Kennedy's decision. "These websites can provide perhaps the most powerful mechanisms available to a private citizen to make his or her voice heard.To foreclose access to social media altogether is to prevent the user from engaging in the legitimate exercise of First Amendment rights". "This language is bound to be interpreted by some to mean that the states are largely powerless to restrict even the most risky sexual predators from visiting any internet sires, including for example internet dating sites", Alito wrote for the three justices.

The state said the law came out of concern that convicted sex offenders would use such social media platforms to anonymously gather information about minors and identify future victims. It also exempted chatrooms and photo sharing sites.

Today, the Supreme Court rejected the state's argument that the law deals with the virtual world in the same way that states keep sex offenders out of playgrounds and other places children visit.

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