Reply To: Packingham: Unanimous Court strikes NC’s social media ban


After reading and digesting the opinion, all justices ruled in favor 5 unequivocally and 3 somewhat reluctantly (alito, roberts, and thomas)

Alito was upset with the references to the internet being the public forum of today and that the 5 justices were so easy to give full protection to registrants. He suggested that recividists and high levels registrants could still be targeted. He also cited mckune v lile.

While I thus agree with the Court that the particular
law at issue in this case violates the First Amendment, I
am troubled by the Court’s loose rhetoric. After noting
that “a street or a park is a quintessential forum for the
exercise of First Amendment rights,” the Court states that
“cyberspace” and “social media in particular” are now “the
most important places (in a spatial sense) for the exchange
of views.”

He further goes on to say:

But if the entirety of the internet or
even just “social media” sites16 are the 21st century equiv-
alent of public streets and parks, then States may have
little ability to restrict the sites that may be visited by
even the most dangerous sex offenders. May a State
preclude an adult previously convicted of molesting chil-
dren from visiting a dating site for teenagers? Or a site
where minors communicate with each other about per-
sonal problems? The Court should be more attentive to the
implications of its rhetoric for, contrary to the Court’s
suggestion, there are important differences between cy-
berspace and the physical world.

The Court is correct that we should be cautious in apply-
ing our free speech precedents to the internet. Ante, at 6.
Cyberspace is different from the physical world, and if it is
true, as the Court believes, that “we cannot appreciate
yet” the “full dimensions and vast potential” of “the Cyber
Age,” ibid., we should proceed circumspectly, taking one
step at a time. It is regrettable that the Court has not
heeded its own admonition of caution.

Everyone seemed to think this: (below was reiterated several times in both opinions)

Second, the Court assumes
that the First Amendment permits a State to enact specific, narrow-
ly-tailored laws that prohibit a sex offender from engaging in conduct
that often presages a sexual crime, like contacting a minor or using a
website to gather information about a minor.

Based on the above being suggested so frequently its my opinion this is how they are suggesting to states on how to deal with this issue….which imo is great for us.