By Jeff Johnson
OneNewsNow reports — Congress has been trying for more than a decade to protect children from violent and pornographic content on the Internet. Earlier this week, the federal courts again stopped their efforts.
The Child Online Protection Act would impose penalties on websites that make pornographic content available without some type of age verification – such as submitting a credit card number – to insure that viewers are 18 or older. Pat Trueman, special counsel to the Alliance Defense Fund and former chief of the Justice Department’s child exploitation and obscenity enforcement unit, is not surprised the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals again struck down the law.
“The ACLU knows when you want to file a lawsuit against any federal law that would restrict pornography, you file it in the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals,” Trueman explains. “So [I suggest we] take this ruling with a grain of salt and hope that reason would prevail at the United States Supreme Court.”
Trueman says the restrictions proposed by the legislation are very modest. “It merely says you have to keep hardcore pornography from kids on the Internet. That’s something that we should all agree with. The ACLU doesn’t, and now this 3rd Circuit doesn’t,” Trueman contends. “We hope that, especially with the new justices on the Supreme Court, that there might be a ruling that would uphold this law.”
There is no guarantee that will happen, however, Trueman warns. He says even conservative Justice Clarence Thomas has accepted the ACLU’s “free speech” argument in protecting pornographers from similar legislation in the past. Trueman says you have to “throw reason out” to understand opposition to the law.
“The ACLU and the American Library Association and the other pro-pornography groups believe that there should be no restrictions at all on any pornography to anyone,” Trueman adds. “They know very well that porn will go to kids with this act being struck down, and they don’t care about that because their goal is to have unrestricted speech, which includes all manner of pornography.”