Supreme Court Rules Social Media Sex Offender Ban Unconstitutional
October 11, 2017
The Supreme Court has decided that social media use is a constitutional right even for sex offenders with a criminal record. The decision came as a response to a controversial North Carolina law that initially banned sex offenders from using social media. The court’s response argued that social media, such as Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and more have become a social staple and an essential part of life and that banning individuals from these services would be unconstitutional without any kind of criminal cause. The supreme court ruled that sex offenders should be allowed to use these services so long as they are not breaking the law while doing so. Justice Anthony Kennedy, senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court stated regarding the decision “With one broad stroke, North Carolina bars access to what for many are the principal sources for knowing current events, checking ads for employment, speaking and listening in the modern public square, and otherwise exploring the vast realms of human thought and knowledge”. He went on to say “Foreclosing access to social media altogether thus prevents users from engaging in the legitimate exercise of First Amendment rights. Even convicted criminals — and in some instances especially convicted criminals — might receive legitimate benefits from these means for access to the world of ideas, particularly if they seek to reform and to pursue lawful and rewarding lives.” The Supreme Court’s decision reinforces protecting First Amendment Rights. Convicted sex offenders have the major disadvantage of having a tarnished record for the rest of their lives – even in cases where the accused person didn’t actually commit a crime. This tarnished record makes it difficult to seek employment, housing, a proper education, and more. As new laws are created for the protection of others, there are times when laws are passed that threaten human rights. If you or someone you know is facing charges for sexual misconduct, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who could help fight for you. Contact the certified legal team at the law offices of Garber Law, P.C. today to schedule your case consultation.
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