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Judge blocks sheriff’s trick-or-treat warning signs

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 10/30/19, 01:54 pm

When Jackson, Ga., decided not to hold its annual trick-or-treating event on the town square this year, locals worried about the safety of children going door-to-door on Halloween. Butts County Sheriff Gary Long planned to put signs in the yards of homes of registered sex offenders warning kids to keep away. But a federal judge ruled Tuesday the sheriff can’t do that.

Why not? U.S. District Judge Marc Treadwell said the sex offenders would likely win their argument that the signs violate their free speech rights. The sheriff not only wanted to put up the signs but also to forbid the offenders from removing them or posting competing messages. Long said there’s not time to appeal before Halloween on Thursday.

Dig deeper: Read Mary Reichard’s analysis of a 2017 Supreme Court case over the free speech rights of sex offenders on social media. The court ultimately ruled in the sex offenders’ favor.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Wed, 10/30/2019 11:26 pm

    Are there limits to free speech?  Of course there are.  "You can't shout 'fire!' in a crowded theater" is the classic example.

    And we do restrict rights for convicted felons--can't own firearms, cannot vote (except now the liberals want to change that), jury duty, travel abroad, certain kinds of employment.

    So maybe restricting rights of free speech for convicted sex offenders is not all that out of line.  Except in the minds of liberal judges, maybe?

    Mr. President, PLEASE continue to nominate conservative judges!