Worthy Christian News » US News » U.S. Supreme Court Kills Child Online Protection Act
By Worthy News International Correspondent George Whitten
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Worthy News) -- The federal government was weighing its options Friday, January 23, after the United States Supreme Court refused to hear a case on whether to save the controversial "Child Online Protection Act" (COPA), which was heavily criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
On Thursday, January 22, the Supreme Court announced it had denied a petition of the administration of former President George W. Bush to uphold COPA.
The law, passed by Congress and signed by former President Bill Clinton in 1998, would have provided civil and criminal penalties for those offering material deemed "harmful to minors" on the Internet, including pornography.
However, the ACLU and others took legal steps against the legislation, saying it violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and argued that internet filters were more effective than COPA.
In 2004, the Supreme Court agreed that the act could restrict access to free speech protected by the First Amendment and sent the case back to a lower court to decide whether minors could be protected from "online obscenity" through software filters.
Last year, the lower court decided that online filtering software was more effective, and less restrictive than COPA.
The federal government appealed that ruling and petitioned the Supreme Court to rehear the case, arguing that 50 percent of households in the U.S. where children could access the Internet lacked filtering software or other technology to block obscenity.
This was not the first time that the Supreme Court rejected Internet legislation. In it rejected a similar law in 1996, which was broader in scope than COPA.