Packingham Vs North Carolina

1034 Words5 Pages
The Supreme Court case, Packingham v. North Carolina (2016) debates whether convicted and registered sex offenders should be limited in their social media usage on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, which are most predominantly populated by minors. The constitutionality of North Carolina’s criminal law is being debated as it considers it a felony for any person registered as a sex offender in the state of North Carolina to have an account on social media sites such as Facebook, or any social media platforms that allow minors to have an account. The current North Carolina law is unconstitutional as it limits a clear example of free speech, and does so in a very broad and unjustified way, In this case, Lester Packingham was…show more content…
Free speech can often be limited in times of war, or if it endangers others. For example, the ba precedent was set in the case Morse v. Fredrick, in which the Supreme Court decided that schools were justified to limit student’s speech, as it protected other students from the advertisement and promotion of illegal drug use ("Morse v. Frederick", 2017). Though some may argue that the current North Carolina law is protecting all minors from individuals on the sex offender registry, however the current law banning all social media usage is much too broad. While saying that Packingham is not allowed to have any contact with minors on social media may be seen as justified in order to ensure the safety of minors that frequent social media sites, Packingham was not doing such. Packingham simply expressed his thankfulness for his belief in god on his personal social media page, which was not viewable to any minors. The fact that this law limits all social media usage by convicted sex offenders limits the First Amendment of free speech in an unjustly broad manner. Generally, free speech cannot be limited unless it is directly endangering others. As Packingham did not attempt to contact minors, or specifically the one involved in his guilt, this law forced his imprisonment for extending his right to free speech. This law should be deemed unconstitutional because the law is too…show more content…
While the current North Carolina law was created in order to protect minors from predation from previous offenders on the internet, this law broadly limits the free speech of registered sex offenders. A law limiting all interaction on social media sites is unconstitutional, because it limits the First Amendment freedom of speech rights well beyond simply protecting minors that visit social media websites. The North Carolina law prohibiting past sex offenders from having accounts on or using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube can be considered unconstitutional as it is a form of speech and expression protected under the first amendment, and the current provisions constrict speech in an umbrella manner, and are much too broad to be deemed justified restriction of

More about Packingham Vs North Carolina

Get Access