Preliminary Injunction Granted In ACLU Challenge to New Mexico Internet Law

June 23, 1998 12:00 am

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ALBUQUERQUE — Internet users in New Mexico and elsewhere in the nation are safe … for now. At the close of a two-day trial in New Mexico, Federal District Judge C. LeRoy Hansen today blocked the state’s unconstitutional Internet censorship law from taking effect as scheduled on July 1.

The ruling came as a relief to artist Rebecca Alzofon, librarian Carol Brey and Dr. Douglas Krell, American Civil Liberties Union clients who all testified in court that their speech would be “chilled” by the threat of criminal prosecution.

Judge Hansen asked ACLU attorneys to present him with a list of “findings of fact” — a set of factual statements about the case — by this Friday.

The 20 plaintiffs in the case are: ACLU, Mark Amerika of Alt-X, Art on the Net,, Full Circle Books,, Santa Fe Online, Sexual Health Institute, Stop Prisoner Rape, Jeff Walsh of Oasis Magazine, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, Association of American Publishers, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Freedom to Read Foundation Inc., International Periodical Distributors Association, New Mexico Library Association, Pen American Center, Periodical and Book Association of America, Publishers Marketing Association, and Recording Industry Association of America.

Lawyers representing the plaintiffs are ACLU attorney Ann Beeson, Senior ACLU Staff Attorney Chris Hansen, who will also argue the case in court, ACLU-New Mexico Co-Legal Director Philip B. Davis, and Michael Bamberger of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal in New York. Attorney Cassidy Sehgal, an ACLU Justice William Brennan First Amendment fellow, also assisted in the case.

Read Judge Hansen’s order and findings of fact in this case.

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