First Amendment Free Speech Analysis

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The primary step in First Amendment free speech analysis is to determine whether the statute is conduct based or content neutral, and then apply the proper level of scrutiny.(Burson v. Freeman, 504 USC 191, 197-198). The limitation of sex offenders’ ability to access certain commercial social networking sites is content neutral. There may be certain times that where the government’s regulation has an incidental affect on expression. A regulation that serves purposes unrelated to the content of expression is content neutral, even if it has an incidental effect on some speakers or messages. (Renton v. Playtime Theatres, Inc., 475 U.S. 41, 47-48 (1986).) In Ward V. Rock Against Racism, the city of New York imposed noise level regulations to…show more content…
Shultz, protesters, who opposed abortions, were picketing in front of the residence of a doctor who performs abortions in two of the neighboring towns.(Frisby v. Shultz 476). The town board enacted an ordinance that prohibited all picketing in front of any resident or dwelling of any individual in the town.(Id. at 477) The protestors argue that the ordinance my be content-neutral on its face but should be read to apply a labor picketing exception.(Id. 481) The court deemed the sidewalk traditional public fora, but also concluded that the time, place, manner regulation may be enforced by the State if it meets certain requirements (Id.).The ordinance was a time, place, or manner regulation because it limited picketing on public sidewalks in front of individual residence to protect ones’ residential…show more content…
Similar to Frisby, this is a regulation of a virtual traditional public forum for a substantial government interest that is sufficiently narrowly tailored to meet that end. Just like the valid ordinance that limited where protestors can picket, Section 202.5 limits where the individual can go, and does not target based on what the message conveyed is. Essentially the statute is content neutral because it regulates one’s ability to access the website in the first place not what is being expressed. Section 202.5 is a specifically a content neutral time, place, manner regulation of protected speech because it bans registered sex offenders from accessing Facebook, which inadvertently limits their expression of speech on the social networking

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