LOS ANGELES -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California is sorely disappointed by the court's decision to deny a temporary restraining order against California Secretary of State Bill Jones, who threatened criminal prosecution against Voteswap 2000, a voter discussion and strategizing web site.
By denying the TRO, the Court has failed to grapple with the free speech and free association issues involved in the closure of web sites devoted to matching like-minded voters with one another for the purpose of discussing politics and voting strategies.
California's Secretary of State has taken action that could threaten our ability to exercise our Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms on the Internet action with potentially profound implications for the future of democratic discourse.
The ACLU of Southern California is absolutely committed to preserving our freedom of speech and freedom of association in every forum, regardless of whether the content of that speech is printed on paper or streams through modems.
We refuse to accept the principle that the immediacy and power of the Internet require us to treat it differently from other media and set aside the Constitution. This issue is not yet settled. We will pursue this case.