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Kentucky's social media ban for sex offender struck down

A federal judge has ruled that registered sex offenders in Kentucky have the constitutional right to use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - A federal judge has ruled that registered sex offenders in Kentucky have the constitutional right to use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. The Lexington Herald-Leader, reports U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove made the ruling on Friday.

The decision strikes down state restrictions on Internet access for registered sex offenders. One law kept sex offenders from using sites accessible to children. The other required sex offenders to keep probation and parole officers up to date on email addresses and online identities.

The ruling is part of a lawsuit filed by a registered sex offender only listed as "John Doe." According to the Herald-Leader, he sued Fayette County prosecutors and the state Justice and Public Safety Cabinet in 2015. He argued the state's internet access restrictions for sex offenders violated his First Amendment right to free speech and his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process under the law.

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