Packingham v. North Carolina

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: October 28, 2016
  • Case #: 15-1194
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: 777 S.E.2d 738 (N.C. 2015)
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether a conviction on a statute prohibiting registered sex offenders from accessing social media platforms is a violation of First Amendment rights?

North Carolina law prohibits the use of social media platforms by registered sex offenders. Petitioner was convicted of a sex offense in 2002 and was subsequently required to register as a sex offender. A North Carolina police officer discovered Petitioner using Facebook. The Petitioner was subsequently found guilty of accessing social media platforms as a registered sex offender. The North Carolina Court of Appeals dismissed Petitioner’s conviction after finding that the North Carolina statute violated the Federal Constitution on its face and as applied to Petitioner. The North Carolina disagreed and reversed the Court of Appeals. On appeal to the United States Supreme Court, Petitioner argues that his conviction is infringing upon his First Amendment Rights. First, Petitioner argues that his conviction is in direct violation of the Federal Constitution. Specifically, Petitioner argues that the decision is a contradiction of First Amendment principles. Second, Petitioner argues that the North Carolina Supreme Court failed to apply the appropriate level of scrutiny when making its decision, because, in reaching their decision, the North Carolina Supreme Court recalled the appropriate test but failed to apply that test to the facts in Petitioner’s case. Lastly, Petitioner argues that the North Carolina’s Supreme Court is in conflict with lower court decisions. 




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