Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COPA: Third Circuit again rules it unconstitutional, upholding Judge Reed's 2007 ruling

The ACLU (in an email from Chris Hansen) has advised plaintiffs that the ACLU has won again this morning. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia has upheld Judge Lowell Reed’s ruling that COPA, the Child Online Protection Act of 1998, is unconstitutional. I discussed Reed's ruling on this blog March 22, 2007

I do not have any legal analysis yet. The Third Circuit’s website for civil case opinions is this and I expect the PDF document for the opinin ACLU v Gonzales (originally ACLU v. Reno) will appear shortly. There is another page for recent opinions, here.

One plaintiff said he would light a candle at Independence Hall tonight.

I’ll provide more analysis when it appears. Watch the major news sites for the story today.

I have a copy of the original Third Circuit Opinion from 2000 here, but the Supreme Court in 2002 overruled its reasoning on the analysis of community standards. There was a second 3rd Circuit Opinion in March 2003, here.

Update (later Tuesday)

The ACLU Press Release is here. The arguments are very much the same as Reed's: it is overbroad, would chill constitutionally protected speech among adults, and is not narrowly tailored, and actually does not close major loopholes in protecting children.

Third Circuit Opinion text (PDF) is here.

ACLU blogger post is here.

The case was originally called ACLU v. Reno, then ACLU v. Gonzales, and finally (now) ACLU v. Mukasey.

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