Tuesday, June 29

A Supreme Court Dialogue - Pornography

A Supreme Court Dialogue: "The decision today in the Internet porn case feels somewhat anticlimactic after all the big questions yesterday. Here Justice Anthony Kennedy is upholding the 3rd Circuit's injunction of the Child Online Protection Act because the statute still likely sweeps in too much constitutionally protected speech in its ban on smut. In another one of those hilarious forays into deconstructing the implications of modern technology, Kennedy suggests that filtering technology has come a long way, baby, and that it would be a good idea if everyone could update the record to reflect the ways in which new technology might obviate the need for this legislation. Of course, everybody seems to acknowledge that this is a case in which technology will always lap the justice system as the case boings back and forth between the courts. The question is whether we keep insisting the law catch up or concede that it's done its level best. The Supreme Court has now heard this case three times. Justice Stephen Breyer's dissent points out that he isn't even certain what's left to be litigated down in the lower courts. By the time they finally decide all this stuff on the merits, we'll be e-mailing each other from wee Blackberries that have been surgically implanted in our eyebrows. And what we now consider porn, will be playing on Saturday morning children's television."