Human Traffic Watch

California Prop 35, Anti-Human Trafficking Initiative, Blocked By Judge On Free Speech Grounds

In Human Trafficking on January 24, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Last week, a federal judge in San Francisco issued an injunction halting the implementation of California’s voter-approved Proposition 35, an anti-human trafficking initiative.

The Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act, which was passed by 81 percent of California’s electorate, would expand the definition and punishment of human trafficking and require convicted traffickers to register as sex offenders and disclose internet activities and identities. It requires that all registered sex offenders provide a list with all of their “internet identifiers” (such as email addresses and social networking profiles) and update this information within 24 hours if there are any changes.

However, a lawsuit filed by two anonymous plaintiffs and a handful of interested non-profit groups immediately following the passage of Proposition 35, argued that the law violated the First Amendment free speech and free association rights of California’s sex offenders.

“It is undisputed that speech by sex offenders who have completed their terms of probation or parole enjoys the full protection of the First Amendment,” Judge Thelton Henderon wrote in his order, referencing a 1991 ruling that struck down a New York law preventing criminals from earning profits on works describing their crimes.

Source: Huffington Post

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