California voters could not resist the chance to condemn human trafficking and sex offenders who prowl the Internet. In 2012, they approved Proposition 35, the Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act, with 81.3 percent of ballots cast. The vote was as predictable as it was unfortunate.
Powerful though it was politically, the initiative is a prime example of why, with rare exceptions, criminal law should not be written by initiative promoters. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made that clear last week by striking down the Proposition 35 requirement that registered sex offenders provide law enforcement authorities with their Internet handles and email addresses. Full Editorial