United States Third Circuit

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ACLU v. ASHCROFT, 99-1324

On remand from the Sup. Ct., the District Court did not abuse its discretion in granting an injunction against the enforcement of the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), nor did it err in ruling that the plaintiffs had a probability of prevailing on the merits of their claim inasmuch as COPA cannot survive strict scrutiny. In addition, COPA is overbroad because it is not narrowly tailored to proscribe commercial pornographers, but instead prohibits a wide range of protected expression.

Appellate Information

  • Argued 11/04/1999
  • Decided 03/06/2003
  • Published 03/06/2003


  • BEFORE: NYGAARD and McKEE, Circuit Judges, and GARTH, Senior Circuit Judge.


  • United States Third Circuit


  • For Appellant:
  • Robert D. McCallum, Jr., Assistant Attorney General, Patrick L. Meehan, United States Attorney, Barbara L. Herwig, Jacob M. Lewis (Argued), Charles W. Scarborough, Attorneys, Appellate Staff Civil Division, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., for Appellant., Paul J. McGeady, Mary McNeill, New York, NY, David P. Affinito, Counsel of Record, Morality in Media, Inc., American Catholic Lawyers Association, Dell'Italia, Affinito, Jerejian & Santola, Orange, NJ, for Amici Curiae-Appellant Morality in Media, Inc., American Catholic Lawyers Association., Bruce A. Taylor, Counsel of Record, Carol A. Clancy, Co-Counsel, National Law Center for Children and Families, Fairfax, VA, James J. West, Local Counsel, Harrisburg, PA, for Amici Curiae-Appellant John S. McCain, Senator;  Dan Coats, Senator;  Thomas J. Bliley, Representative;  Michael G. Oxley, Representative;  James C. Greenwood, Representative., Janet M. LaRue, Family Research Council, Washington, D.C., for Amicus Curiae-Appellants Family Research Council;  Enough is Enough;  The Jewish Policy Center.

  • For Appellees:
  • Douglas A. Griffin, Catherine E. Palmer, Michele M. Pyle, Katherine M. Bolger, Christopher R. Harris, Latham & Watkins, New York, NY, Ann E. Beeson (Argued), Christopher A. Hansen, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, New York, NY, John C. Salyer, American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey Foundation, Newark, NJ, for Appellee American Civil Liberties Union., John C. Salyer, Christopher A. Hansen, Ann E. Beeson, Stefan Presser, American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, for Appellees Androgyny Books, Inc., d/b/a A Different Light Bookstores;  American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression;  Artnet Worldwide;  Blackstripe;  Addazi, Inc., d/b/a Condomania;  Electronic Frontier Foundation;  Electronic Privacy Information Center;  Free Speech Media;  Internet Content Coalition;  OBGYN.Net;  Philadelphia Gay News;  Powell's Bookstore;  Riotgrrl;  Salon Internet, Inc.;   West Stock, Inc.;   Planetout Corporation., David L. Sobel, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Washington, D.C., for Appellee Electronic Privacy Information Center., Lee Tien, Electronic Frontier Foundation, San Francisco, CA, for Appellee Electronic Frontier Foundation., Paula Bruening, John B. Morris, Jr., Alan B. Davidson, Washington, D.C., R. Bruce Rich, Jonathan Bloom, Counsel for the Association of American Publishers, Inc., Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, New York, NY, Richard M. Schmidt, Jr., Kevin M. Goldberg, Counsel for the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Cohn and Marks LLP, Washington, D.C., Burt Joseph, Barsy Joseph and Lichtenstein, Counsel for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Chicago Heights, IL, Edward J. Black, Jason Mahler, Computer and Communications Industry Association, Washington, D.C., Elliot M. Mincberg, Lawrence S. Ottinger, People for the American Way Foundation, Washington, D.C., Lloyd J. Jassin, Law Offices of Lloyd J. Jassin, Counsel for the Publishers Marketing Association, New York, NY, Bruce W. Sanford, Robert D. Lystad, Bruce D. Brown, Counsel for the Society of Professional Journalists, Baker & Hostetler LLP, Washington, D.C., for Amicus Curiae-Appellees The American Society of Newspaper Editors;  The American Association of Law Libraries;  Bibliobytes, Inc.;   The Center for Democracy & Technology;  The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund;  The Commercial Internet Exchange Association and PSINET, Inc.;   Freedom to Read Foundation;  The Information Technology Association of America;  Internet Alliance;  Magazine Publishers of America;  The National Association of Recording Merchandisers;  People for the American Way;  Periodical Book Association;  PSINET, Inc.;   The Publishers Marketing Association;  The Recording Industry Association of America;  The Society for Professional Journalists., Stephen A. Bokat, National Chambers Litigation Center, Washington, D.C., Bruce J. Ennis, Jenner & Block, Washington, D.C., Amicus Curiae-Appellee The Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America., Bruce J. Ennis, Jenner & Block, Washington, D.C., for Amicus Curiae-Appellee, Internet Education Foundation., Carl A. Solano, Theresa E. Loscalzo, Jennifer Dufault James, Joseph T. Lukens, Dionna K. Litvin, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, Philadelphia, PA, for Amicus Curiae-Appellees American Society of Journalists and Authors, Authors Guild, Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, California Museum of Photography/University of California at Riverside, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Peter Ludlow, Chuck More, Don Ritter, Safer Sex Institute, and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.
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