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Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition (doc. #: 00-795) (2002)  [Findlaw]
First Amendment claim affirmed

Secondary Link Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition  [Legal Information Institute]
Argument Date 10/30/2001
Decided 04/16/2002
Supreme Court Vote 6-3
Note Certiorari was granted last term under the name of Reno v. The Free Speech Coalition
Supreme Court Ruling First Amendment claim sustained.
IssueWhether the provisions of the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 concerning the shipment, distribution, receipt, reproduction, sale, or possession of any visual depiction that “appears to be of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct” violate the First Amendment. It also contains a similar prohibition concerning any visual depiction that is “advertised, promoted, presented, described, or distributed in such a manner that conveys the impression that the material is or contains a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
Case Summary & Additional Resources
Majority Opinion Kennedy, J.
Concurring Opinion Thomas, J. (concurring judgment), O’Connor, J. (concurring & dissenting in part in judgment)
Dissenting Opinion Rehnquist, C.J. (joined by Scalia, J., in part)
Certiorari Granted 01/22/2001
Lower Court 9th Circuit
Lower Court Ruling First Amendment claim sustained on vagueness and overbreadth grounds. Ruling of the District Court re constitutionality of the statute is reversed and case to be remanded.
Oral Arguments Oral Arguments - Transcript
Oral Arguments  [Oyez]
For Petitioner
Irving Gornstein

United States/ Barbara Underwood (Acting S.G.)

For Respondent
Free Speech Coalition / Louis Sirkin, Sirkin Pinales Mezibov & Schwartz

For Petitioner
Main Brief

Reply Brief

Dennis DeConcini
Elliot Mincberg & Lawrence Ottinger
Michael A. Bamberger
Robin S. Whitehead
Senator Sam Brownback, et al, Colby M. May & Jay Alan Sekulow
William B. Turner
News Stories & Commentary
AP, "Under bill, children in pornography wouldn't have to be real" (3-27-04)

Associated Press story (re opinion)

Medill School of Journalism analysis

Press Release
ACLU Press Release & Brief

Press Release

Tony Mauro Analysis
High court rejects child-porn law that 'turns the First Amendment upside down'

High court tries to picture disputed virtual-porn law in practice

Virtual porn case to test high court's sexually explicit material standard

Opinion - Lower Court
Free Speech v. Reno (1999)

Associated Press case summary

The Freedom Forum case summary

Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996

Corn-Revere, Robert, "Cyberspace Cases Force Court to Reexamine Basic Assumptions of Obscenity and Child Pornography Jurisprudence" (Cato Supreme Court Review, 2001-2002)

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