Ashcroft v. ACLU
What's at Stake
Reviewing whether an Internet censorship law that attempts to safeguard children against sexually explicit material online unconstitutionally blocks lawful and valuable speech for adults. DECIDED
This case marks the second time the Court will review the Child Online Protection Act. The first time the case was on appeal in 2000, the Court kept a ban on the law in place but sent it back to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals for further evaluation. In March 2003, the appeals court again ruled that the statute was unconstitutional because it deprives adults of protected speech on the Internet. Therefore, the statute suffers from the same constitutional flaws that had led the Supreme Court in 1997 to strike down a predecessor law in Reno v. ACLU.