The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday that it would review a federal Internet pornography law, marking the second time the justices will weigh the constitutionality of restrictions on commercial Web sites with materials deemed "harmful to minors."

In response to pressure from antiporn groups, Congress enacted the law in 1998, but it was instantly challenged in court by the American Civil Liberties Union and has never been enforced. In May 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed the case for the first time, but said an appeals court decision was insufficient to establish that the law was unconstitutional.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia responded with a broader ruling saying, once again, that that the law violated the First Amendment's free-speech guarantees. The Child Online Protection Act (COPA) "is not narrowly tailored to proscribe commercial pornographers and their ilk, as the government contends, but instead prohibits a wide range of protected expression," the 3rd Circuit Court said.

The Justice Department appealed to the Supreme Court, which accepted the case in a one-line order released Tuesday.

Tuesday's decision to hear the COPA case, which was expected, is likely to result in a high court ruling by next July that could clarify the legal rules applying to both hard-core pornography Web sites and mainstream publishers that may occasionally include some off-color content. Plaintiffs in the COPA case include the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression,,, Philadelphia Gay News and the Internet Content Coalition. CNET Networks, publisher of, is a member of the Internet Content Coalition.

source: CNET

The wise make mistakes, the fools repeat them
When you have eliminated the impossible, that which remains, however improbable, must be the truth