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Packingham: Unanimous Court strikes NC’s social media ban

By Robin . . . In a broadly worded opinion penned by Justice Kennedy, a unanimous Supreme Court has closed the door on laws restricting access to the internet and social media forums by Americans who were convicted of a crime but who are no longer serving a criminal sentence. In reversing the N.C. Supreme Court’s decision in Packingham v.…

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Packingham case asks: Is First Amendment negotiable?

By Lenore Skenazy . . . When Lester Packingham beat a traffic ticket a few years back, he couldn’t contain his joy. He went online and wrote, “No fine. No court cost, no nothing spent. Praise be to GOD, WOW! Thanks, JESUS!” For this he was arrested and convicted of a heinous crime: using Facebook. Who is legally forbidden to…

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Supreme Court unconvinced by North Carolina’s Facebook argument

By Sandy . . . “There are three principal features of North Carolina’s law that make it a stark abridgment of the Freedom of Speech.” These words, spoken by attorney David Goldberg, opened the oral arguments of the petitioner Lester Packingham to the Supreme Court today, Monday, February 27. At 21, Mr. Packingham was convicted of taking indecent liberties with…

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North Carolina versus First Amendment: SCOTUS to decide

By Andrew Cohen . . . Lester Gerard Packingham was having a really good day back on April 27, 2010. The North Carolina man had just learned that a traffic ticket against him had been dismissed, so he logged onto his Facebook account and gleefully told the world: “Man God is Good! How about I got so much favor they…

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When “ample alternatives” are neither

By DAVID POST . . . A couple of weeks ago, I joined 16 law professors in an amicus brief (authored by Eugene Volokh and several of his students) urging the Supreme Court to grant certiorari in the case of North Carolina v. Packingham. [Here’s Eugene’s posting about the brief.] The case, in a nutshell: North Carolina bans registered sex…

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