In late January of 1997, the Free Speech Coalition brought forth a lawsuit in a federal court in San Francisco California, seeking a declaratory judgement on the basis of unconstitutionality in regard to the Child Pornography Protection Act.i In early August of 1997, the court denied the Free Speech Coalition’s declaratory judgment and granted Attorney General John D. Ashcroft’s summary judgement motion.
ii The Free Speech Coalition filed an appeal, and by a vote of 2-1, in December of 1999, the Ninth Circuit Panel, found the CPPA unconstitutional.iii Attorney General Ashcroft and the United States government appealed this decision, and four additional other Courts of Appeals sustained it.iv The FSC not satisfied with this decision, filed an amicus brief and appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Attorney General John D. Ashcroft and the United States government then filed a en banc petition rehearing before the Ninth Circuit, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied this petition.
v The United States Supreme Court then proceeded by granting a writ of certiorari, and the FSC began arguing their case in October of 2001. They focused on § 2256(8)(B) which bans pornography that depicts minors, even though computer technology or adults with youthful looks were used, and not real children and §2256(8)(D) which bans the production and/or distribution of pornography that could be seen as representing child pornography.vi The FSC stated, these two provisions of the CPPA are broad and vague, and made works protected by the First Amendment illegal.
vii i Calvert, C. and Richards, R., 2004. The Free Speech Coalition & (and) Adult Entertainment: An Inside View of the Adult Entertainment Industry, Its Leading Advocate & (and) the First Amendment. Cardozo Arts & Ent.
LJ, 22, p.247.ii Dallas, D.R., 2007.
Starting with the Scales Tilted: The Supreme Court’s Assessment of Congressional Findings and Scientific Evidence in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition. Willamette L. Rev., 44, p.33.iii See Supra Note 5iv See Supra Note 5v See Supra Note 5vi See Supra Note 5vii Justia Law. (2018).
Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, 535 U.S. 234 (2002). online Available at: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/535/234/case.html.