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Court may strike law barring sex offenders from social media

Posted at 10:26 AM, Feb 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-27 12:32:25-05

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court appears likely to strike down a North Carolina law that prohibits sex offenders from using Facebook and other social networking sites.

At least five justices suggested during argument Monday they would rule for North Carolina resident Lester Packingham Jr. He was convicted of violating a 2008 law aimed at keeping sex offenders off internet sites children might use. Packingham used Facebook to boast about beating a traffic ticket.

Justice Elena Kagan pointed out that the law is so broad it also prevents people from reading the Twitter accounts of President Donald Trump, all 50 governors and members of Congress.

The state's lawyer said the law deals with the virtual world in the same way that states keep sex offenders out of playgrounds and other places children visit.