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Tuesday, July 23, 2024 | Back issues
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CA to Defend Trafficking Law With Proponents

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Proponents of a California human-trafficking law do not meet the requirements for intervention, but they can fight convicted sex offenders challenging the law, a federal judge ruled.

"Even though proponents have not made a compelling showing that the attorney general inadequately represents their interests, the court anticipates that the presence of proponents in this suit will contribute to the just and equitable resolution of the issues before it," U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson wrote. "Proponents seek only to ensure that their perspective on the matters at the heart of this litigation are given due consideration; they do not request to bring any counterclaims or cross-claims."

He added: "The court finds that the potential for Proponents to make such contributions outweighs the as yet abstract danger that delay or prejudice to the original parties could result from Proponents' formal participation as intervenors. The court will therefore grant permissive intervention."

Voter-approved Proposition 35 requires registered sex offenders to give police a complete list of their user names, screen names, email addresses and Internet service providers within 24 hours of setting up a new account or screen name.

Violations are punishable by up to three years in prison. The new rules will apply to more than 73,000 people on California's sex offender registry.

Two anonymous men and California Reform Sex Offender Laws filed suit over the law in November 2012. The group claims that the law is "unconstitutionally overbroad" and restricts free speech by invading the anonymity of online forums.

Shortly after, the case faced a motion to intervene from Prop. 35's proponents, Daphne Phung, founder of the nonprofit California Against Slavery, and Silicon Valley attorney Chris Kelly.

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