Cyberbullying Statute Struck Down

Last week, the state supreme court unanimously ruled that a provision of North Carolina’s cyberbullying statute, G.S. 14-458.1, “violates the First Amendment.” The case is State v. Bishop, and the opinion is here. I previously wrote here about the court of appeals ruling upholding the statute. This post summarizes the case and discusses the new opinion.

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Cyberbullying Law Upheld Over First Amendment Challenge

The court of appeals just upheld North Carolina’s cyberbullying statute over a First Amendment challenge. The result is especially noteworthy because it contrasts with a ruling last year in a similar case in New York. But the opinion does leave at least one important issue open.

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Perhaps in response to news reports of teen suicides blamed on embarrassing and/or insensitive web postings, I have been fielding a fair number of calls about North Carolina’s cyberbullying statute. The statute, G.S. 14-458.1, was enacted in 2009 and applies to offenses committed on or after that date. S.L. 2009-551, sec. 3. Subsection (a) sets … Read more