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Federal Judge Molests Louisiana’s Internet Sex Offender Statute

Federal Judge Molests Louisiana’s Internet Sex Offender Statute
February 22
10:11 2012

We saw this coming, but a 2011 law banning registered sex offenders from accessing social media and other internet sites fell victim to a legal challenge last week. Judge Brian Jackson of the Middle District of Louisiana, an Obama appointee, ruled that the statute was overbroad and violated the First Amendment.

Jackson’s ruling contained a clue that a better-drafted law could pass future muster…

Although the Act is intended to promote the legitimate and compelling state interest of protecting minors from internet predators, the near total ban on internet access imposed by the Act unreasonable restricts many ordinary activities that have become important to everyday life in today’s world. The sweeping restrictions on the use of internet for purposes completely unrelated to the activities sought to be banned by the Act imposed severe and unwarranted restraints on constitutionally protected speech. More focused restrictions that are narrowly tailored to address the specific conduct sought to be proscribed should be pursued.

When the ACLU filed the suit in question on behalf of a couple of sexual predators last August, we noted it was a mistake to attempt such a sweeping ban on what’s essentially a part of daily life for what is admittedly a suspect class of people…

Look, if somebody is a pervert as adjudged in a court of law and you want to stop them from using Facebook or whatever to engage in a furtherance of their perversions, I’m sure there are ways of doing that short of banning them from social media altogether. Almost everybody under 50 is using Facebook or Twitter or Craigslist or LinkedIn or something; I don’t know that you can rehabilitate someone back into society unless they have access to those sites. And if they use them to conduct business and not fulfill whatever desires we don’t even want to know about, it seems like that’s actually a good thing.

And I’m not sure how you can possibly enforce such a law. Our police have a LOT to do already without attempting to stop somebody who looked at kiddie porn at some point from buying Katy Perry tickets on Craigslist.

It’s great politics to say you protected the folks from sex predators, and I get that. But where law enforcement issues are concerned, I’m a lot more concerned with the alarming murder rate in Baton Rouge and New Orleans and the seeming inability or lack of will on the part of politicians from the local level all the way up to do something about it.

What we need are less laws prohibiting things and more enforcement of what remains.

Undoubtedly someone will take a second crack at a new Facebook ban for sexual predators in this year’s legislative session. To do so successfully, they’ll have to follow Jackson’s direction.

Even so, though, it’s going to be difficult to craft a statute which is effective in stopping child molesters and other perverts from using the internet to feed their proclivities. Facebook, for example, is attempting to protect its users through its own efforts but lacks the power to do so in a productive way…

“We take the safety and security of our users, especially the many young people on Facebook, very seriously. We have consistently supported bills that criminalize usage of social networking sites by registered sex offenders. Our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities already bars these individuals from using Facebook and we would welcome the potential of criminal penalties to strengthen these provisions.”

Banning someone in the group in question from Facebook isn’t exactly going to stop them from creating a new profile and going right back to what they do. And putting criminal penalties in place for violating Facebook’s user agreement doesn’t sound like a great idea.

It might be that the only way to remedy the deficiencies in the state’s sex offender-internet usage statute is to require the people in question to use a specialized internet provider service which tracks and blocks their usage of more sensitive social media. Even that seems like a complicated project.

The Jindal administration, which backed the law in the first place, isn’t giving up. It issued this statement on Thursday…

“Louisiana families should have the comfort of knowing their children are able to go online without the threat of sex predators. It’s offensive that the Court would rule that the rights of sex predators are more important than the rights of innocent children. As the father of three young kids, I will do everything in our power to protect Louisiana families and that includes appealing to the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and bringing legislation this upcoming session to fortify and strengthen the law.

“The internet is the virtual playground where sex offenders are trying to strike and prey on our kids. We must have the tools to crack down on monsters that are preying on our kids. If these predators want to search the internet for a victim, they won’t be able to do it in the State of Louisiana.”

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  1. Jakeleg
    Jakeleg February 22, 10:49

    A bullet in the back of the head would solve this problem in a heartbeat. These scumbags cannot be rehabilitated. The recidivism rate is almost 100%. They need to be removed from society permanently if we are to REALLY protect our children.

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous February 25, 22:32

       Ya might want to start a whole lot closer to home with those bullets son, as most child molestations occur right there at the hands of good ole’ Uncle Frank or Grandpa Joe or some other  “trusted” family member or friend. The recidivism rate for registered sex offenders is less than 5%, while molestations by family members and aquaintences go on and on and on for generations. More than 95% of those on the registry are one time offenders, some whose convictions were decades ago, and many were NOT convicted of a crime that involved a child.

      • Anonymous
        Anonymous February 25, 22:41

        How do we know Jake hasn’t used his middle leg in an aggressive way? John Walsh says all men are potential predators, and self-loathers tend to be the biggest chest-thumpers, like Mark Foley?

  2. thechemist007
    thechemist007 February 22, 12:46

    I suspect Jakeleg may have had a couple coctails before sugesting vigilanteism.

    First – The term Sex Offender is in itself overly broad as well since it applies to sex workers such as convicted prostitutes and their johns. It is time to segregate the streakers and sex workers from the predators. Had the term sex offenders been limited to child molestors, this might pass muster.

    Secondly – We are adding way too many ex-post-facto sentences to convicted fellons. The expression, “don’t do the crime unless you can do the time,” should now read, “don’t do the crime unless you can do the time… and whatever else we can think of to limit your abiltity to earn an income in the future and make sure you live in a permanant criminal underworld.”

    Third, Judges have the authority to at sentencing, ban “sex offenders” from any such social media if is necessary for the specific offender.

    Fourth – Parents really need to stop letting their children have Facebook accounts. It is a policy of F/B to not allow anyone under 18. They really aught to start requiring a drivers license or state issued ID to start an account. I refuse to ever let my daughter have any type of social media account for this reason. My numerous relatives that allow thier children to have social media accounts are nuts as well.

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous February 25, 22:40

    I’m sure whoever wrote the headline could be sued over the improper use of the term “molest.”

    Jindal’s wasting time and money on legislation that will backfire. The ban would be struck down again because there rally is no way to write the law in a way to keep registrants off social media without crossing the line. Whoever wrote this doesn’t even know the basics of constitutional law. 

    Let me say it real simple– you can’t make a blanket law that prevents a lot of legal uses for the internet. Since most news outlets use Facebook only commenting, a total ban violates free speech. So saying one can’t have a FB account in general violates that rule.

  4. Vicki Henry
    Vicki Henry February 25, 22:40

    Please, please don’t start commenting that registrants
    should be barred from Facebook. There are two questions here: 1) how many folks
    “not on any registry have hooked-up with an underage person via Facebook….literally
    hundreds! Why, because 2) some parents give their kids unsupervised access to
    Facebook which is like giving them a loaded gun.  Put the laptop/desktop where you can see it AND
    make sure they have access to any and all of your kid’s on-line accounts. But, that
    will require taking the time to “look and see” what is going on. This is the
    way to guide kids and that applies not only to Facebook but, educating them as
    to what is appropriate to send via cellphone text or pictures, what to do when
    an adult makes them feel uncomfortable or touches them where they shouldn’t.
    This is no more about social networking or a registry but about education.  Do your due diligence as a parent.  Dr. Phil said something recently to a young
    lady on his program: Dec 2011 – How much you trust other people has nothing to
    do with you but more to do with how much you trust yourself to be able to deal
    with what they bring to you! We have to be strong, aware, alert, and learn to


    There are already over 760,000 men, women
    and children (as young as 8 years of age in some states) required to register due
    to “crimes” like urinating in public, streaking, sexting,
    prostitution, viewing suggestive or abusive images of anyone 18 years old or
    younger, Romeo & Juliet relationships, playing doctor, rape and incest.

    As each state becomes SORNA compliant as
    mandated by Congress and enforced by the Justice Department, via the SMART
    Office, there will be many more to include ex-post facto offenses and juveniles. 


    Now if you
    multiply that 763,000 by 3 or 4 family members you can quickly see there are almost
    3,000,000 wives, children, mothers, girlfriends, grandmothers and other loved
    ones suffering the collateral damage of being beaten up, harassed, slandered,
    the wife frequently loses her job, the family is asked to leave their church
    and other organizations, signs are put in the yard, flyers are placed on
    neighborhood doors by self-righteous individuals who have no real knowledge of
    who they should fear.  Read and research
    for yourself (Justice Policy Institute, Jill Levenson articles and studies,
    Rockwood Psychological Group from Canada and various other documented pieces.


    Vicki Henry Women Against Registry

  5. Jindalsucks
    Jindalsucks March 02, 21:55

    Jindal is an idiot.  “Louisiana families should have the comfort of knowing their children are able to go online without the threat of sex predators.” Well then they shouldn’t go on the internet at all as 90% of new sex offenses are by people not on the registry. There is only ONE way to ensure kids aren’t exposed to predators on the internet, and that is to keep them off the internet, not to ban someone who looked at 17yo girls as an 18yo college freshman 20 years after the crime was committed, from craigslist. Jindal, stop it with the “sex predator” talk. You sound like someone who might be a kiddy fiddler yourself. Better watch it, statistics show those NOT on the registry are more likely to molest a child than the group of people on it. All eyes on you you Indian kiddy fiddler.

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