Quick Index
 Adult Industry News
Search AINews Database
Type Keyword or Phrase Here
Advertise with AINews Pornography feminists unshackle their desires and celebrate their sexuality in the patriarchal world

Front Page
Film News
Media News
Business News
Clubs & Appearances
Law & Politics
Internet & Mobile News
Lifestyles Arts Health Charity
Letters to the Editor
Movie Spotlight Reviews
Pornstar Pages
AINews Staff
Ad Rates
PR 101: Press Release Service

Porn for GEEKS! Meet me & my friends!

Club Jessica Jaymes - Official Website

October 16, 2001 12:40pm
Virginia's Online Porn Law Rejected - Judge Says Inhibits Free Speech
Source: ManNet

(WASHINGTON, DC) -- A federal judge has ruled that Virginia's law aimed at protecting children from "harmful" material on the Internet is unconstitutional, marking another setback in a nationwide effort to shield minors from online pornography.

U.S. District Judge James H. Michael Jr. [http://www.USCourts.gov] noted that the law arose from "legitimate concern regarding the proliferation of pornography on the Internet" but said its enforcement would violate First Amendment freedoms.

"In its efforts to restrict the access of minors to indecent material on the Internet, the Act imposes, albeit unintentionally, an unconstitutional burden on adult protected speech," Michael wrote. "Merely asserting that the government has an interest in preventing some harm cannot justify the suppression of free speech."

The law, which was passed in April 1999, makes it a crime to use the Internet to sell, rent or lend sexually explicit pictures or written narratives to juveniles. In August 2000, Michael barred Virginia from enforcing the statute until he could make a final ruling in a lawsuit filed by 16 plaintiffs, including Ashburn-based PSINet Inc. [http://PSINet.com] and the nonprofit People for the American Way [http://PFAW.org].

A spokesman for Virginia Attorney General Randolph A. Beales [http://www.oag.state.va.us] said the state would appeal the decision to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond [http://www.ca4.uscourts.gov].

"The General Assembly decided our laws should protect children from pornography on the Internet," said Randy Davis, Beales's spokesman. "The attorney general respectfully disagrees with the court."

Legal experts said Michael's ruling, which was handed down last week, is in line with decisions in courts across the country as states try to balance the rights of adult Internet users with protecting children from online dangers. Similar laws in New York, New Mexico and Michigan also have been declared unconstitutional.

"The general trend is that the courts want to keep the Internet free for robust markets and speech," said Jamin Raskin, an American University law professor [http://wcl.american.edu/faculty/raskin]. "So far, the effort to draw the line down the middle of the Internet to keep material away from kids has failed."

Elliot M. Mincberg, legal director of People for the American Way, said the plaintiffs were concerned that law was too vague and could be construed to include sex education and art materials. "This law is incredibly broad, and it restricts adults," he said.

Mincberg, who said he appreciates the efforts to protect minors, noted that he has used software on his home computer to track his children's Internet surfing. Those decisions, he said, should be made by parents.

But Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William [http://hod.state.va.us], who sponsored the legislation, said the law is needed to prevent commercial Web sites from selling pornographic material to children -- much like retail stores are banned from selling pornographic magazines to minors.

"This isn't about some kid tripping across this garbage on the Internet," Marshall said. "This ruling gives pornographers the green light to send his stuff to kids."

Michael did leave open the possibility that advances in Internet technology may someday allow the government to restrict online activity without violating the constitutional guarantee of free speech. "Technological advancements may, in the not-too-distant future, permit statutes similar to the one now before this court to regulate constitutionally content on the Internet," he wrote.

The Virginia case comes as the U.S. Supreme Court [http://www.SupremeCourtUS.gov] is poised to consider the constitutionality of the Child Online Protection Act [http://COPACommission.org], a similar 1998 federal law that makes it a crime for commercial Web sites to present materials "harmful to minors" unless companies try to keep children from gaining access. An earlier version of the law was struck down by the court on free-speech grounds in 1997.

Advertise with AINews

Related Sites - WARNING! Graphic Content



Top Stories

Black Loads Matter

Alexis Amore to Hall of Fame

Baumgartners Wins Best Polyamory

Ryder Wins Best Screenplay

PPK = Porn Party Karaoke

Losers Never Get Laid ~ Reviewer Rated

Pornstar Signature Series

LewdWork Adult Job Board

Scott Taylor Interview

MWA: 01/16/18

Happy New Year 2018

MWA: 12/26/17

MWA: 12/21/17

2018 AVN Awards Nominees

MWA: 12/16/17

MWA: 12/10/17

MWA: 12/09/17

A Season for Hope

MWA: 12/06/17

MWA: 12/05/17

Gonzo with Eddie Powell

Guild Demands New HIV Testing!

ED Award Winners

MWA: 11/07/17

Burlesque Documentary

Farrah Abraham Fired for Porn Return

Heaven and Hell 2017

Stories From

Law & Politics

Prop 60, Part One

Prop 60, Part Two

Official APAG Statement

Darling Running for Assembly

Possible Identity Theft

Bunny Ranch Special

Prop 60 Defeated

Tarts for Trump

Darcy Tyler Jailed

Weiner Offered Media Director

Julia Ann Against Prop 60

Pedophile Olympic Coaches Exposed

Law & Politics Section Index

Alice Polls Her Clients

What Prop 60 Really Is

IEAU Statement on Prop 60

FLOTUS Shatters Porn Search Records

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Offered $50K

Cruz Receives Porn Offer

Performers File Unpaid Wage Claims

Candidate Sex Tape Scandal

Donald Trump Porn Parody

Sex with Donald Trump

Hof Runs for Senate

Hookers for Hillary

Adult's Achilles Heel

AHF's Hidden Agenda

Pistol, Ross Talk Condoms

Modern Comstockery

Hof on Phoenix Hooker Bust

Cal/OSHA vs Evil Angel

Pornstar Graduates Law School

AHF Against AB 999

CraigsErotica Letter to Senators

Amazon Crushes Small Business

Letter of Equality

ASACP Service Recognition Award

Suit Filed Challenging Measure B

ASACP Ready For Internext

Octomom Loses Civil Suit


Crakmedia ASACP Corporate Sponsor

Mo Reese Statement

CAM4 Newest ASACP Sponsor

Takedown Piracy Removes 10,000,000

Three Stooges Porn Controversy

Suing: Wasn't Sexy Enough

Lords of Acid Censored

Nate Glass on CNBC

Copyright © 1998 - 2018 Adult Industry News (AINews.com)
All materials constituting text, articles, press releases, stories, columns, photographs, graphics, and code on the AINews.com domain are protected by copyright, and either owned by Adult Industry News (AINews.com), or reproduced with permission from other copyright owners. It may be downloaded and printed for personal reference, but not otherwise copied, altered in any way, or transmitted to others, without the written permission of Adult Industry News (AINews.com).