Southern California breaking news and trends

Lawsuit blocks Prop 35, new voter-approved sex trafficking law in CA

Judge's gavel court

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A federal court judge blocked implementation of Proposition 35 while groups pursue a First Amendment lawsuit.

A judge has granted a stay temporarily blocking the implementation of Proposition 35 while the ACLU of Northern California and Electronic Frontier Foundation pursue a First Amendment challenge to the proposition. 

The measure passed overwhelmingly on Tuesday with 81 percent voting yes, the highest amount of any proposition on the California ballot. Proposition 35 would enact tougher penalties to those convicted of sex trafficking. More controversially, it also requires registered sex offenders to notify police of their online screen names any time they register with a website. 

According to the lawsuit, that requirement is overly broad in that registered sex offenders must tell police within 24 hours if they, for example,  comment on a news article, or join a political chatroom, and are by definition, not able to participate anonymously on the internet in any way.

The suit also points out that a broad swath of crimes trigger the requirement that a person register as a sex offender in California (like misdemeanor indecent exposure). 

The legal complaint said the measure affects 73,000 people in California. 

Federal District Court Judge Thelton Henderson of the Northern District of California has granted a temporary stay on implementing the measure and will hear arguments for extending the stay on November 20. 

Eff Complaint

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