Supremes uphold racy internet fare


The Third Circuit in Philadelphia held that there are limits to what Congress can do to regulate pornography on the internet without running afoul of First Amendment protections. The Supreme Court agrees. According to Reuters, the law in question dates back to 1998, and would have forced users of such sites to use a credit card or alternative identification method to gain admittance, in an effort to keep children away, and violators faced fines of up to $50K. The courts held that the law was overly broad.

RBR/TVBR observation: There’s no way to know for sure, but we have to believe this is bad news for the FCC, which is trying to overturn a lower court ruling limiting its enforcement power over fleeting obscenities. There was some thought that the conservative wing of SCOTUS showed sympathy towards the FCC position, but this ruling, with a much more hardcore issue hanging in the balance, clearly demonstrates a high level of high court awareness of Amendment #1.