Ruling in a lawsuit brought by a Lexington child pornography defendant identified only as "John Doe," U. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove struck down Kentucky's sweeping restrictions on internet access for registered sex offenders.
The Courts Said No. It was a complete suppression of speech. The other law required sex offenders to keep their probation or parole officers updated on all of their email addresses and various online identities.
Van Tatenhove cited a unanimous decision by the U. Supreme Court in June that struck down a similar North Carolina ban on social media for sex offenders, in part because so many civic institutions -- from elected officials to news media -- are now tied into social media.
For example, the Herald-Leader's Kentucky. Kentucky's law "burdens substantially more speech than necessary to further the commonwealth's legitimate interests in protecting children from sexual abuse solicited via the Internet," Van Tatenhove wrote. Doe and others similarly situated from accessing 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 wrote.
In , Doe sued Fayette County prosecutors and the state's Justice and Public Safety Cabinet to challenge the internet access restrictions, arguing that they violated his First Amendment right to free speech and his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process under the law. Doe said he was convicted in of one count of possessing child pornography. As a result, he must register his home address with authorities as a known sex offender on a list that is publicly available. Two years later, Gov.
Steve Beshear signed into law the restrictions on the use of social media. Violating those restrictions could have led to a misdemeanor conviction and jail time. Doe's suit said Kentucky's laws were "so overly broad" that a sex offender looking for employment at LinkedIn.
Attorneys for the Justice Cabinet were reviewing the decision Friday, a spokesman said. The Fayette Commonwealth's attorney's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. At a court hearing in December , lawyers for the state of Kentucky and Fayette County told Van Tatenhove that the social media ban was a narrow restriction that should be considered constitutional. I don't see that in this statute, though.
What I see is 'available to minors,' which seems really broad to me. Almost any site is available to minors. That site's available to minors.