(AP and KQED) The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging California’s new voter-approved law to boost penalties for those convicted of human trafficking and increased monitoring of sex offenders.
Voters approved Proposition 35 on Tuesday with 81 percent of the vote.
In its lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, the ACLU and the EFF argue that a provision of the measure restricts the First Amendment rights of registered sex offenders.
The initiative requires all registered sex offenders in California to provide the police with their email addresses, user names and Internet service providers.
ACLU attorney Michael Risher says the measure violates free speech and due process rights of sex offenders.
For example, Risher said, “73,000 Californians [the number of registered sex offenders in California] would have to, before they create a screen name to comment on an article that they read in the paper… inform the police within 24 hours they’d created that new screen name or face arrest or possible prosecution.”
The groups also argue that provision sets a dangerous precedent.
Proposition 35’s author, former Facebook executive Chris Kelly, calls the lawsuit an attack on the very idea of sex offender registration,
A hearing on the lawsuit is set for later this month.