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July 22, 2008

COPA Litigation Working Through The System [2:29 pm]

Today, it’s the Third Circuit Court of Appeals that declares COPA unconstitutional: Court affirms online content law unconstitutional (pdf)

In its ruling Tuesday, the federal appeals court concluded that the Child Online Protection Act also violates the First Amendment because filtering technologies and other parental control tools offer a less restrictive way to protect children from inappropriate content online. The court also ruled that the law is unconstitutionally overly broad and vague.

The opinion: ACLU v Attorney General of the US. It’s kind of an interesting one, because it is substantially a revisiting of several earlier decisions by this court, (one reversed and one upheld by the Supreme Court), whose parameters for remand, which led to a permanent injunction on COPA, are being challenged by the Government. It leads to this interesting conclusion, suggesting that, no matter how you slice it, it still comes up baloney:

In sum, COPA cannot withstand a strict scrutiny, vagueness, or overbreadth analysis and thus is unconstitutional. We reach our result both through the application of the law-of-the-case doctrine to our determination in ACLU II and on the basis of our independent analysis of COPA and would reach the same result on either basis standing alone. For the foregoing reasons, we will affirm the District Court’s March 22, 2007 order.

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