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Cyberbullying Law Struck Down in New York

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Cyberbullying Law Struck Down in New York

A state court in New York recently struck down that state’s cyberbullying law as violating the First Amendment. . .

the state of New York had crafted a law that was so sweeping as to criminalize much First Amendment–protected activity of New Yorkers of all ages—adults and children, students and non-students.

Perhaps this overbreadth was accidental. But some suggest a more nefarious purpose: The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Hans Bader wrote recently that “bullying is increasingly being used as an excuse for censorship of speech protected by the First Amendment.” Whatever the motivation of the New York state legislature, the question is whether the government can craft a law that catches all the “bad” speech while letting all the “good” speech through. And it’s not clear that the government can do this.