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Document Type

Note

Publication Date

Summer 2014

Publication Citation

89 Indiana Law Journal 1327 (2014)

Abstract

This Note scrutinizes the constitutionality of statutes that ban sex offenders who are no longer under any form of probation, parole, or supervised release from using social media. This Note argues that the incarnations of three of the social media ban statutes that have been examined by the federal judiciary were properly found unconstitutional because they violate the free speech rights of the sex offenders that they ban from social media. This Note goes on to argue that states can secure the interests they were seeking to protect in adopting these statutes through other means.

ng what groups of individuals use social media, how many individuals use social media, and how these individuals use social media. Part II scrutinizes the development of social media bans and takes a detailed look at the social media bans initially passed by Indiana, Louisiana, and Nebraska. Part III examines the constitutionality of social media bans by analyzing the extent of the First Amendment’s protection for sex offenders who are no longer on probation, parole, or supervised release and wish to use social media; analyzing the proper First Amendment doctrine to apply to social media bans; and analyzing the cases that examine the constitutionality of the social media bans initially passed by Indiana, Louisiana, and Nebraska. Finally, Part IV argues that there is constitutional breathing room for a state or the federal government to craft a statute that properly balances the government interest in protecting children with the First Amendment rights of sex offenders who are no longer on probation, parole, or supervised release.

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