By Robin Vanderwall . . .
The United States Supreme Court has set Packingham v. North Carolina for conference on May 12, at which time the Court will decide whether or not to grant a Writ for Certiorari. The petitioner’s request can be viewed here. The state of North Carolina waived response on April 6, 2016. Should the Court elect to grant cert, the state would likely be called to file a response at that time.
The Packingham case concerns a statutory prohibition against registrants in North Carolina from accessing social networking websites that permit users who are under the age of 18. The state’s high court ruled 4-to-2 in November, 2015, that the statutory requirement sanctions conduct rather than speech thus sidestepping the more intense legal scrutiny whenever there is a prior restraint imposed on free speech. To read David Post’s excellent analysis of the state’s supreme court ruling, please revisit his previous post about the case.