The Supreme Court has ruled that sex offenders are allowed access to social media sites.
According to CNN, the highest court in the country voted against a North Carolina ruling that barred registered sex offenders from sites like Facebook.
In 2010, Lester Gerard Packingham of North Carolina, a registered sex offender, took to Facebook to share his happiness of beating traffic tickets. Per Vice, he shared, “No fine, no court costs, no nothing spent….Praise be to GOD, WOW! Thanks JESUS!” But under the state's law, it's a felony for sex offenders to use “commercial social networking Web site[s]” if they “know” people under 18 can access it.
A police officer saw the post and Packingham was arrested and convicted.
In its decision yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 that the law restricts freedom of speech and the First Amendment. “By prohibiting sex offenders from using those websites, North Carolina with one broad stroke 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,” Justice Kennedy said, per The Hill.
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