An Indiana law that bans registered sex offenders from using Facebook and other social networking sites that can be accessed by children is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.
The 7th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Chicago overturned a federal judge’s decision upholding the law, saying the state was justified in trying to protect children but that the “blanket ban” went too far by restricting free speech.
The 2008 law “broadly prohibits substantial protected speech rather than specifically targeting the evil of improper communications to minors,” the judges wrote.
Indiana’s new governor will be sworn in Monday at the statehouse in Indianapolis.
Republican Mike Pence will become Indiana’s 50th governor during an 11 a.m. ceremony, taking the oath of office along with Lt. Gov.-elect Sue Ellspermann and Attorney General Greg Zoeller.
Pence spokeswoman Christy Denault says the new governor will deliver his inaugural address and then get right to work.
"At 11:53 we expect to conclude, turn around and walk through those doors, and then Gov. Pence will walk straight to his office and we have some order of business to begin immediately, says Denault. "He’ll be signing executive orders that day, first day executive orders."
Pence will deliver his State of the State address to the Indiana General Assembly on January 22.
Outgoing governor Mitch Daniels will report for duty Tuesday as the new president of Purdue University.
Despite the fact Republicans control the Indiana Governor’s mansion, House, and Senate, a standoff appears to be brewing over Governor-Elect Mike Pence’s plans to cut income taxes. Pence takes office January 14th, and is admitting he has no budget experience at the state level.
However, Pence is a conservative Republican and a veteran of some bruising federal budget battles over his eleven years in the U.S. House. The Columbus, Indiana native has promised that pushing a 10% income tax cut will be his top legislative priority next year.
The leader of Indiana State Police says he has no objection to efforts to ease penalties for marijuana possession in the Hoosier State. When asked about the drug in a budget committee meeting, ISP Superintendent Paul Whitesell said he’s spent some 40 years trying to enforce various marijuana laws.
Three traditional college basketball powerhouses in our region are 1-2-3 in a major preseason ranking. Indiana, Louisville, and Kentucky appear set to have outstanding seasons and contend for national championships.
The Centers for Disease Control reported seven new cases of fungal meningitis, one in Tennessee, which brings the nationwide case count to 203. The CDC added a new state to the list, New Hampshire, which reported four cases of fungal meningitis. No new deaths were reported.
Not that long ago, the U.S. Senate race in Indiana was one Republicans counted on as an easy victory this November. But the calculations have shifted rapidly in the past month, with Democrats now believing they have a real chance to switch the seat from red to blue.
Health officials say they have been notified that five Kentucky residents came down with fungal meningitis after receiving medical care in Tennessee. The state Public Health Department said these cases match the pattern of an outbreak linked to injections of steroids distributed by a Massachusetts pharmacy.