Federal Court Rules Sex Offenders Cannot Be Denied Access to Facebook

more+
less-

Unfortunately, what people think should happen and what the law requires are not always the same. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently made headlines when it ruled that an Indiana statute that bans most registered sex offenders from using social networking websites, like Facebook, was unconstitutional.

The controversial law specifically prohibits certain sex offenders from “knowingly or intentionally us[ing]: a social networking web site” or “an instant messaging or chat room program” that “the offender knows allows a person who is less than eighteen (18) years of age to access or use the web site or program.” The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana challenged the statute on behalf of a class of unidentified sex offenders.

Ultimately, the Seventh Circuit overturned the law on First Amendment grounds, after concluding that the Indiana law was not narrowly tailored to serve the state’s interest. “It broadly prohibits substantial protected speech rather than specifically targeting the evil of improper communications to minors,” the opinion in John Doe v. Prosecutor, Marion County, Indiana states.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Published In: Constitutional Law Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Donald Scarinci, Scarinci Hollenbeck | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »