A post at The Washington Post’s Volokh Conspiracy reinforces a point we made yesterday about the 9th Circuit’s ruling against California’s attempt to criminalize the internet for registered offenders: Rulings like this one will protect the free anonymous speech of the next group targeted by politicians’ fear-mongering.
Here’s an excerpt from the post:
Convicted sex offenders are probably one of a very small number of groups that are even more despised than the Jehovah’s Witnesses were in the Thirties and Forties, and they have consequently been singled out for very harsh treatment in the law. Fighting back, they’re helping to make some good First Amendment precedent, and when the government starts cracking down on other speech by other speakers, or attempting to restrict our ability to use anonymizing tools in our Internet communications – as it will – we’ll be grateful to them for having done so.
The Volokh Conspiracy: Sex Offenders on the Front Lines Protecting 1st Amendment
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, meanwhile, reports on an expert panel that rips that state’s program of long-term confinement of registered citizens. A lawsuit challenging the medieval program, which amounts to a life sentence, is set to begin in federal court in St. Paul next month.
Here’s an excerpt from the Star-Tribune story:
A team of court-appointed authorities on sexual behavior, including experts from Florida, New York and Wisconsin, conducted what is considered the most comprehensive review yet into the inner workings of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP). Their 108-page report paints a bleak picture of a program that creates unnecessary obstacles to treatment, sets unrealistic expectations for patient behavior, and leaves both patients and staff beset with feelings of futility.