FC: Supreme Court hears arguments in COPA Internet erotica case

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Thu Nov 29 2001 - 06:19:59 PST

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    Photos from outside the Supreme Court after oral arguments:
    "Supreme Court sides with 1A over privacy, agrees to hear COPA"
    "Feds appeal loss in COPA online erotica lawsuit"
    "COPA went too far, Judge Reed ruled"
        High Court Focus on Kids, Web
        By Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
        2:00 a.m. Nov. 29, 2001 PST
        WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court wondered on Wednesday whether a
        federal law designed to shield children from sexually explicit
        websites would imperil legitimate online publishers.
        The justices focused on an extraordinarily narrow point: How the Child
        Online Protection Act (COPA), which restricts erotic material that
        offends "contemporary community standards," would apply to the virtual
        communities of the Internet.
        "Doesn't any jury necessarily apply the standards of its own
        community?" asked Justice Antonin Scalia. "What does someone who was
        raised his whole life in North Carolina know about Las Vegas?"
        Other justices wondered if Congress truly intended to craft a national
        standard for smut -- or whether COPA might allow a Bible Belt
        prosecutor to shut down lurid websites located in far more permissive
        areas of the United States.
        "I have a California jury," said Justice Anthony Kennedy. "Is it
        proper or is it necessary for that jury to consider what the standards
        are in other parts of the country before it renders its verdict?"
        "Yes, that would be possible," replied Ted Olson, the solicitor
        general for the Justice Department.
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