Courthouses, Bookshelves and Portals: The Implications of U.S. v. American Library Association on First Amendment Forum Analysis and Future Internet-Based Litigation Strategies
Alexandra R. Harrington
Global Institute for Health and Human Rights; Albany Law School
Oklahoma Journal of Law & Technology, Vol. 2, p. 27, 2005
This note discusses the arguments in the amici briefs filed in United States v. American Library Association, and analyzes the impact of these arguments on the majority and dissenting opinions in the case. From this analysis, it then draws conclusions as to what types of arguments will be most persuasive to the Court in future cases involving internet-related litigation.
Part I of this note discusses basic constitutional jurisprudence regarding public libraries and the internet. Part II provides background information on the United States v. American Library Association case itself, which is particularly helpful to the amici analysis because of the facts and figures presented in the District Court's findings on internet usage and availability in public libraries, and the ability of library patrons to access pornography on these library computers. Part II also provides a discussion of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Part III discusses the amici briefs filed on behalf of the parties, and then describes the opinions. Part IV compares the opinions and the amici brief arguments and finds the common threads running through the briefs and opinions. This Part then goes on to make predictions as to the types of arguments which will be persuasive to the Court in future internet-based litigation. Part V concludes this note with a brief analysis and discussion of the amici and Court opinions in the first relevant case since United States v. American Library Association, the rehearing of Ashcroft v. ACLU.
Date posted: November 12, 2008
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