Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) ruling by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) ruling by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

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Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) ruling by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by United States District Court For The Eastern District Of Pennsylvania

Published:

2002

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Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) ruling by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

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Book Excerpt

mendment doctrines of prior restraint, vagueness, and overbreadth. There are a number of potential entry points into the analysis, but the most logical is the spending clause jurisprudence in which the seminal case is South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203 (1987). Dole outlines four categories of constraints on Congress's exercise of its power under the Spending Clause, but the only Dole condition disputed here is the fourth and last, i.e., whether CIPA requires libraries that receive LSTA funds or E-rate discounts to violate the constitutional rights of their patrons. As will appear, the question is not a simple one, and turns on the level of scrutiny applicable to a public library's content-based restrictions on patrons' Internet access. Whether such restrictions are subject to strict scrutiny, as plaintiffs contend, or only rational basis review, as the government contends, depends on public forum doctrine.

The government argues that, in providing Internet access, public libraries do not create a public

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