November 13, 2012 — A federal judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked a provision in a California anti-trafficking ballot measure (Proposition 35) that requires registered sex offenders to inform law enforcement authorities of their online screen names, email addresses and Internet service providers, SF Weekly's "The Snitch" reports. The ruling comes one day after 81% of voters approved the measure (Palmer, "The Snitch," SF Weekly, 11/8).
The measure also increases prison sentences and fines for people convicted of human trafficking. However, the judge's order only applies to the disclosure requirements (Santa Cruz Sentinel, 11/8). In addition to the Internet information, the measure requires sex offenders to notify police every time they post a comment online, including for restaurant reviews or blogs.
The American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation and the group California Reform Sex Offender Laws filed the lawsuit against the provision ("The Snitch," SF Weekly, 11/8). Two registered sex offenders also are plaintiffs in the case. They claim the provision infringes on their constitutional right to express views on topics anonymously.
In his four-page order, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson wrote that "the plaintiffs have raised serious questions about whether the challenged sections of (the law) violate their First Amendment right to free speech and other constitutional rights."
Thelton directed both sides to file briefs before a hearing scheduled for Nov. 20. He also said Proposition 35's sponsors could apply for court permission to become defendants in the case (Santa Cruz Sentinel, 11/8).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership