Kentucky win: A federal court judge in Kentucky just struck down two parts of Kentucky’s sex offense registration law! Individuals on the registry were banned from using social media, and required to divulge so-called internet identifiers–email addresses and such. Today’s ruling overturns both restrictions and strengthens the First Amendment rights of everyone to use the Internet. The Kentucky decision builds on a major US Supreme Court victory (Packingham v. North Carolina) that came in June when the court unanimously ruled unconstitutional a North Carolina law banning registrants from social media. Congratulations and kudos to “John Doe”— a subscriber to The Dobbs Wire— and his legal eagle, Scott White. If you want a copy of the decision drop us a line. Have a look at the Lexington Herald-Leader’s report. -Bill Dobbs, The Dobbs Wire
Lexington Herald-Leader/Kentucky.com | Oct. 20, 2017
Judge strikes down Kentucky’s social media ban for sex offenders
By John Cheves
Kentucky’s registered sex offenders have the constitutional right to use Facebook, Twitter and other online social media, a federal judge ruled Friday. Ruling in a lawsuit brought by a Lexington child pornography defendant identified only as “John Doe,” U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove struck down Kentucky’s sweeping restrictions on Internet access for registered sex offenders.
Van Tatenhove cited a unanimous decision by the U.S. 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.
“This is a very important decision,” said Scott White, a Lexington attorney who represented Doe. “The laws effectively deprived anyone on the sex offender registry of access to the most effective forms of communication that we have today. It was a complete suppression of speech.” MORE: