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IL: A setback for First Amendment protection for anonymous speech

Continuing the one-step-forward, one-step-backward pattern that has characterized the cases examining the constitutionality of state sex offender registry statutes, the Illinois Supreme Court has upheld the provisions of the Illinois sex offender statute compelling disclosure of all “Internet identifiers” just a few weeks after the district court in Florida struck down, on First Amendment grounds, a virtually identical provision in the Florida statute. Full Article

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  1. Robert Curtis

    An appeal to the US Supreme Court seems in order here. What has amazed me recently is seeing fewer and fewer apposing voices in the comments. The ways of ALL gov’t (all 3 branches) seem to be more about clogging the plumbing rather than really solving anything. It almost takes getting to the point of revolution before anything of substance is done! We have an incarceration issue in the USA. That is our largest problem that needs to be addressed. STOP making more and more BS laws and repeal the ones we have and fire the crap out of all the law enforcement agencies out there. Communities can within themselves govern their own and punish their own. We need to go back to communities and churches handling their own areas and people. Close the prisons and start local work and training programs and have local churches getting involved as well doing daycare and community support. Everyone is so afraid of the criminal element when most of those committing crimes are victims of crime themselves! We need a revolution. I’m willing to with one hair salon and community at a time. Remove those in gov’t and do so by making outlaw crazy laws that do more harm than good.

    • Timmr

      I applaud you for having a program to fight these crazy laws, but I can just see some communities like Lancaster and Fontana without having some state oversight and laws to protect them, being free to enact whatever ordinance against citizens who had sex crime convictions — well that would not be a pretty picture.

    • C

      I read through many of the comments and they seemed overwhelmingly opposed to the court’s decision and in support if anonymous free speech rights and this poor kid. The a-hole behind the first comment supporting the court and registry can drop dead.

    • Politically unfavorble thought unfortunately.....

      Good ideas, but that is not the politically favorable solution(s) for those who are elected…..politics is where it helps to start with because those entities you mentioned won’t have the financial backing to start the programs….unless there is a benefactor willing to step up….again, good ideas though and should be thoroughly reviewed for applicability.

    • Robert Curtis

      I believe in more of a bottom up approach than a top down. Checks and balances of course should be in place but as in the movie “13” to violate ones rights you must first criminalize them ie. a clause in the 13th amendment to the US Constitution. With today technology the need for more laws, politicians and law enforcement is not needed. How to delete those positions while we have them in charge is our greatest challenge. They justify their position by marketing fear and the “them verses us” scenario. The military does better by its Chain of Command…No command wants higher ups involved in their business so they typically treat their people more justly in how they do things.. ie as a sergeant I would rarely report a solder to command to tarnish his record instead we would give him counseling (a good talking to), some pushups and a little extra duty opting to handle issues at the lowest level possible within the Squad. In our society local gov’t has lost so much community backbone opting to have judges and the state handle even to most petty of crimes like a girl sexting a picture of herself to her BF. Law enforcement and politicians by virtue of being self-serving encourages such BS by coddling every so called victim out there when what is needed is overall support via churches and communities via therapy, counseling and yes a slight kick in the pants when needed. What we have is a context and definition problem. If you are a hammer every problem looks like a nail to be hammered… lets take the hammer out of the judge’s hands and return control, power and responsibility back to communities.

  2. I can't wait to die

    Correction! Florida has not struck any law!

  3. Rick

    To Robert Curtis

    I will tell you something, I’m getting tired of posting and reading these articles, since it just seems to fall on deaf ears, not to ours, but to those who could help in some way. It appears that no amount of reason or logic can prevail for us. Case after case of challenges have been denied for the most ludicrous of reasons, and the depersonalization tactics used by the mainstream seems to be winning the war in my opinion. They view us as a disease, something to be isolated from the public, no matter how trivial an act is. I seem to feel a lot better whenever I don’t put any energy into this issue, I’m just about ready to roll with the flow to be honest. If i had money I would just leave and let them find someone else to victimize, but I don’t.

    I’ve never witnessed such blatant abuses of law, and yet here we are, nearly 20 years later still dealing with it. One simple decision from the Supreme court would end thus nonsense, but where is it? After a while, everyone loses interest and gets frustrated, but that doesn’t mean they’ve quit, just need a break.

    How much longer this will go on, only the scrotus can decide, or until it’s gone. We will get to decide that question eventually when our numbers can affect the vote, so in time, it will end one way or another.

  4. Leonard

    “Continuing the one-step-forward, one-step-backward pattern…”

    No… it’s more like one forward, four back. I REALLY appreciate what (and I donate) Janice, other organizations, and individuals are doing to challenge these laws. But let’s be clear… we are NOT making forward progress. Yes, we’d be worse off if we weren’t fighting, so what’s been done has been worth it and we should continue, but progress is AGAINST us. We are not treading water here. The US is progressing steadily backwards. Hell, we are considering a tiered registry a positive objective in some states. Getting off the registry after 25 registry is considered lucky.

  5. David

    I am grateful to Florida and Illinois for being inconsistent dumbasses! These inconsistent rulings will help to push the issue up to the SCOTUS.

  6. Eric Knight

    Packingham v. North Carolina may be the key case that will decide much of the fates of these decisions. Don’t forget our own 9th Circuit decision as well. While certain aspects are not in congruence with every case, the ability of the government to censor or ban speech via threat of felony is still the paramount issue.

    • Rick

      Lol, the 9th circuit. I have to admit they really know how to screw you guys over. I read all of their recent decisions and wow are they full of hypocrisy and misinformation. Yea, they seem to want to hold the line on how far they will let the public and government go in relation to the RC’s, but they won’t be able to hold it for very much longer.

      It’s odd how they seem so ready to define what a continuation of state imposed punishment consists of, but they won’t apply that standard to registries, which have every element every other state continuum of punishment contains. It’s a form of egregious comedy!

      They permit fear based public discrimination, slavery, and denationalization to be applied, but yet give the appearance they are in control. It’s like a crack addict saying I will just hold on to this vial until it goes bad, yea right, lol. The 9th circuit is criminal, no other definition can be applied. They assert you have a right to free speech but allow you to be compelled against your own self interest. Bwahaha haha haha. At least in New York they just destroy you openly without hypocrisy.

  7. Rick

    An 11 year old girl who survived cancer killed herself with a gun in her house after being bullied n school earlier in the day. Those bullies are the same kind of people who love these registries because they get to abuse people legally. Just another example of the disgusting nature if this country and its self proclaimed hypocrisy. If you get a chance to point out any persons flaws that supports a registry, please do, maybe they will know what it’s like, and hopefully leave this planet.

    • Harry

      Your are right on, Rick. Those whom are heavy handed in favor of the registry are bullies, example Smith, Walsh, the Runner’s, Lunsford, Ahrens they are all life long bullies and they have their fare share picking on kids, this 11 yo.

  8. David

    When the time finally comes, I hope we will see a SCOTUS decision that will rival the gay marriage decision in its scope, sweeping away ALL registries and the thousands of “administrative/regulatory” restrictions and punishments.

    • Chris F

      Unfortunately, SCOTUS is unlikely to do more than the least amount required in a particular case.

      Like Smith V Doe proves, they’ll probably throw out something like “If this were a challenge to Substantive Due Process, it would probably succeed, but since it didn’t we can only rule on the original issue”.

      If they can find any excuse to keep registries intact, they will. They don’t want to be known as the one’s responsible for the backlash of the public incorrectly thinking this allows child predators to run amok if a public registry is abolished.

  9. Davidh

    I think one would have to look into detail about how each case was argued

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