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November 18, 2014

Ninth Circuit upholds injunction, on First Amendment grounds, blocking California law requiring sex offenders to report report online activities

As reported in this Bloomberg story, "California can’t enforce a law to combat sex trafficking because it tramples on free speech rights of sex offenders by requiring them to report online activities, such as their Twitter, e-mail and chatroom accounts, a U.S. appeals court ruled." Here are more of the ruling's basics via the press:

The San Francisco-based court today upheld a judge’s decision to block enforcement of a voter-approved law that was backed by former Facebook Inc. (FB) executive Chris Kelly and garnered support from more than 80 percent of California voters in 2012.

The measure, known as Proposition 35, isn’t clear about what accounts or Internet service providers offenders are required to report and targets online speech that could include blogging about politics and posting comments on news articles, the appeals court’s three-judge panel said today.

The law also harms sex offenders’ ability to engage in anonymous speech because it allegedly allows police to disclose their online identities to the public, the court said. Failure to report on Internet activity can lead to criminal sanctions.

A requirement that registered sex-offenders notify police within 24 hours of using a new Internet identity chills activity protected by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, U.S. Circuit Judge Jay S. Bybee wrote in the unanimous ruling.

The ruling in Doe v. Harris, No. 13-15263 (9th Cir. Nov. 18, 2014) (available here), officially gets started this way:

California law has long required registered sex offenders to report identifying information, such as their address and current photograph, to law enforcement.  Cal. Penal Code §§ 290.012, 290.015.  The Californians Against Sexual Exploitation (“CASE”) Act sought to supplement and modernize these reporting obligations by requiring sex offenders to provide “[a] list of any and all Internet identifiers established or used by the person” and “[a] list of any and all Internet service providers used by the person.” Id. § 290.015(a)(4)–(5).  The Act also requires registered sex offenders to send written notice to law enforcement within 24 hours of adding or changing an Internet identifier or an account with an Internet service provider (“ISP”). Id. § 290.014(b). 
Appellees Doe, Roe, and the nonprofit organization California Reform Sex Offender Laws filed a complaint alleging that the CASE Act infringes their freedom of speech in violation of the First Amendment.  Appellees filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, which the district court granted.  Kamala Harris, the Attorney General of California, and Intervenors, the proponents of the CASE Act, appeal.  We hold that the district court did not abuse its discretion by enjoining the CASE Act. Accordingly, we affirm.

November 18, 2014 at 06:08 PM | Permalink

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Comments

So lessee, a criminal gets convicted, does his or her time, gets off parole, and somehow has to check in with the government before he or she gets on the Internet? And if he or she doesn't, it's off to the pokey.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 19, 2014 12:08:00 AM

"garnered support from more than 80 percent of California voters in 2012"

What a bunch of pathetic, un-American dipshits. I am glad that California is such a failing cesspool. Hopefully the decent 20% of the people in that state leave and the rest of it gets earthquaked into the Pacific Ocean.

F Registry Terrorists. All people who are listed on a nanny big government Registry must ensure it is worse than worthless. Retaliate by any legal means every day.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Nov 19, 2014 8:15:52 AM

federalist:

Potentially, if I were an SO and responded to your comment under an "anonymous" heading and did not report it to the police state within 24 hours, I "could" end up in the pokey. Since I would not volunteer the information, all it would take is a no-knock warrant to damage my property, take my computer(s) and/or any other internet connected device, potentially harm me and my family and then I am threatened with doing real hard time. I could even lose my home under "civil forfeiture" proceedings without being charged.

This is the Amerika that some in the Federalist Society seem to be OK with, because, after all, SO's brought "it" (whatever it means) on themselves. Whose "Federalist Society" is this? The government does this for the "Good" of Society. - Hah!

I have to remind everyone to "Think of the Children". It worked in 1930's Germany and it works in the good old USSA today. I would rather not raise my children in this this type of world, but that is me and I am not your typical lemming.

Posted by: albeed | Nov 19, 2014 9:37:29 AM

Have most of you noticed that the same people comment on the Sex Offender posts and no one else does.

That's actually good that it is this way because, I know for a fact there are a lot of judges and some politicians who read this board.

Without the opposing views of the those who disagree with us, "the truth" is finally being told!

Posted by: Book38 | Nov 20, 2014 12:10:50 PM

Book38: I really believe that there are very few informed, intelligent, and decent people who support the Sex Offender Registries (SORs). So, good, thoughtful, reasoned comments in support of the SORs are pretty much non-existent. You can find all the idiocy from politicians, law enforcement, and that ilk that you like. You can also find extreme idiocy from the vast majority of U.S. citizens who are getting less intelligent by the day. Just know that when a person is arguing in support of the SORs, there is likely something very wrong with him/her.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Nov 21, 2014 11:10:16 AM

They could probably get away with this if they limited it to SOs on parole and maybe a subset of SOs who have had a due process hearing finding them permanently dangerous or a "predator" or one of the various constructs that different states have used. But applying it across the board is both an unjustifiable limitation of liberty and a really stupid use of state resources (for tracking all of the compliance reports -- I opened an Instagram account! I needed to buy a jacket, so I made a username at Burlingtoncoatfactory.com!...)

Posted by: anon | Nov 21, 2014 1:30:00 PM

Sex offenders are like "sludge" and follow the path of least resistance. CA-RSOL is led by a bottom feeding attorney named Janice Bellucci. Janice never met a sex offender she couldnt legally embrace. Her speciality is true deviants and thats who she makes her bones off of. Of Course she loves to get her 5 minutes of online fame by "profiling" some poor bastard who was convicted of statutory rape in 1982 and is still "married to the Victim". The public really isnt interested in pursuing Mr. 1982 and she is very much aware of it, in fact uses it as cover and umbrella for the repeat rapist and child molesters she loves so much. Attorney's love to BS the public even at the expense of their own children. Bellucci should be reprimanded and disbarred by any and all self respecting members of the bar, if not? The dismal reputation of attorney's is well deserved.

Posted by: Valerie Parkhurst | Nov 23, 2014 8:01:03 AM

Oh, dear, looks like the ultimate Nemisis is back: Valerie Parkhurst, affectionately known as "Valigator," is out strutting her humorously laughable rhetoric. Of course, her own reputation precedes her as well: She likes to stop registrants on the road to point her guns at them, as well as generally harass registrants well past legal points, knowing that a jury of her peers will never indict her of these charges.

Well, Valerie, welcome to this blog. Please stick around and make your presence known to all of Professor Berman's associates and followers. And DO touch up every now and the on the Constitution which you so delightely ignore time in and time out. In the meantime, here is a link to your escapades that the readers may enlighten themselves with:

http://absolutezerounites.blogspot.com/2013/08/sympathy-for-devil-valerie-parkhurst.html

Posted by: Eric Knight | Nov 23, 2014 4:24:38 PM

hate to break it you Valerie but your LOWER than the so-called "sludge" you talk about. at least they do have a problem. yes in SOME cases it's a problem we can't fix. but what's YOUR excuse for being a hate filed two-faced felon! yes I said felon I know all about your criminal record as well as your son's.

so might want to get out of that glass house before you throw too much shit around.

Posted by: rodsmith | Nov 24, 2014 12:57:40 AM

Val:

I dislike besmirching individuals and their comments, but as Dean Wormer so eloquently put it, "fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life."

Posted by: albeed | Nov 24, 2014 7:44:02 AM

So freaking funny. I just talk about how few informed, intelligent, and decent people support the SORs and in slithers Valerie Parkhurst, the poster child of the immoral, moronic, un-American SOR supporters. Like many Registry Terrorists, she cannot support any significant position of supporting the SORs without lying. Weak people with weak positions lie. Look at the slimy politicians.

I very often feel bad for Parkhurst. People cannot help if they are stupid and she has a terrible life. Attacking her is like attacking someone with mental retardation. But then I remember what a evil, lying piece of trash she is and realize America doesn't need her kind.

The hilarious thing is that it is people like Parkhurst who destroyed any chance that the SORs could actually be useful. They are their own worst enemy. If the SORs had actually been used as it was originally lied that they would be - simply to keep people "informed" - then they possibly could have done some good. But noooo! That was not good enough for un-American scum like Parkhurst. They had to start saying people on the hit list couldn't live here or there, they couldn't go here or there, etc., etc., etc. We all know their stupidity and crimes.

So the SORs very quickly became not just useless, but very counterproductive. A number of people listed on them retaliated and murdered children. A number retaliated and murdered adults. Likely all listed people have been retaliating to some level or another. The un-Americans who support the SORs are idiots. It's no wonder that ISIS and so many others want to kill them.

I personally have a very long list of anti-social activities that I practice daily. SOR terrorists are my enemies and I will continue to lower the quality of their lives. As far as the SORs themselves go, I will continue to ensure they are worse than worthless. I spend intimate time around families all the time that will never know that I am on the government list. I have literally hundreds of different children that visit my home, many often. It's mostly just the result of living a normal, good life, but it is hilarious how worthless the SORs actually are.

Do you know who does know I am listed? My "neighbors". Guess what people are invisible and with whom I never interact? My "neighbors". Those people could be just more trees near my home and there would be no noticeable difference. Wouldn't change my life in any way. Ha ha ha ha. So my "neighbors" are about 20 people who are "protected". Law enforcement can never visit my home but they can hang out with the other people who know nothing about me.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Nov 24, 2014 5:19:16 PM

as usual none of you pervs can be accused of impersonating legal Eagles..crack me up. its nice you devote so much "thought" and "time" to my comment. Its a compliment to have such prolific "boy lovers" and "child molesters" scrambling to take the first "hit". You numbnuts do realize I enjoy being the "bain of your existance" right??

Posted by: Va | Dec 31, 2014 9:18:36 AM

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