Issue 94, Summer 2004

The Supreme Court upheld the injunction against the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), Congress’ latest effort to prevent children from accessing “harmful” sexual material online, reiterating that the rights of adults cannot be sacrificed even to protect children. On remand, the government must prove that there are no alternatives to achieve its goals. Since internet filters screen material from all sources, while COPA regulates only sources in the US, the Court expressed doubt that the Government could carry its burden.

Citing procedural defects, the Court avoided decisions on the merits in a case seeking information about the federal Advisory Committee on Energy chaired by Vice President Dick Cheney, and in a challenge to the constitutionality of the words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance.