CIPA

Legal – CIPA (American Library Association v. U.S) Case Name: 
United States v. American Library Association, Inc. (2003)  No. 02-361. Argued March 5, 2003–Decided June 23, 2003, United States Supreme Court.

Description:
The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is a federal law that requires schools and libraries which receive certain types of federal funding to deploy a “technology protection measure with respect to any of its computers with Internet access that protects against access through such computers to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors.”  “Technology protection measure” is almost always regarded as Internet filtering software.  CIPA also requires and that filters be deployed “during any use of such computers by minors,” by adults that libraries “may disable the technology protection measure concerned, during use by an adult, to enable access for bona fide research or other lawful purpose.” A coalition of free speech organizations led by the American Library Association and the American Civil Liberties Union challenged CIPA in federal court.  Much of the testimony submitted in the trial centered around the effectiveness of the filtering software most often used in libraries, focusing on four companies: N2H2, Secure Computing, SurfControl, and Websense.   

Outcome:
A special three-judge panel ruled that CIPA was unconstitutional.  This ruling was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which reversed the trial court ruling, finding that “Because public libraries’ use of Internet filtering software does not violate their patrons’ First Amendment rights, CIPA does not induce libraries to violate the Constitution, and is a valid exercise of Congress’ spending power.”

Status:
Closed

Chronology & Legal Documents:
11/22/00          ACLU Sends Memos to Libraries soliciting plaintiffs
12/01/00          CIPA signed into law (Text)
03/20/01          American Library Association files Complaint
03/20/01          ACLU files complaint
03/20/01          Both parties file joint trial stipulations
06/08/01          DOJ files motion to dismiss
06/29/01          ALA Responds to DOJ Motion to Dismiss
07/26/01          Three judge panel denies motion to dismiss
10/15/01          Corey Finnell files expert report for Defense
10/15/01          Chris Lemons files expert report for Defense
10/15/01          Donald G. Davis files expert report for Defense
10/15/01          Blaise Cronin files expert report for Defense
10/15/01          Ben Edelman files expert report for Plaintiffs
10/15/01          Christopher Hunter files expert report for Plaintiffs
10/15/01          Geoffrey Nunberg files expert report for Plaintiffs
10/15/01          Ann Lipow files expert report for Plaintiffs
10/15/01          Joseph Janes files expert report for Plaintiffs
03/20/02          ALA and ACLU file pretrial brief
04/02/02          Trial Concludes
04/11/02          ALA and ACLU file post trial brief
04/11/02          DOJ files post trial brief
04/11/02          ALA and ACLU file proposed findings of fact
04/11/02          DOJ files post trial proposed findings of fact
04/18/02          ALA and ACLU file reply brief to DOJ
05/31/02          Trial court issues ruling striking down CIPA
09/02/02          DOJ files Jurisdictional Statement with Supreme Court
10/02/02          ACLU files Opposition to Jurisdictional Statement
10/07/02          ALA files Opposition to Jurisdictional Statement
01/05/03          DOJ files Appeal Brief to Supreme Court
                            DOJ Appeal Brief Appendix Volume 1
                            DOJ Appeal Brief Appendix Volume 2
                            DOJ Appeal Brief Appendix Volume 3
02/15/03          ALA files Appellate Brief to Supreme Court
2003                 Amicus briefs are filed in Supreme Court  by:
                               American Center for Law and Justice
                               American Family Association
                               Liberty Legal Institute 
                               State library associations and library schools
                               National Law Center, et al family groups
                               The Online Policy Group
                               Partnership for Progress 
                               On behalf of several public library systems
                               Center for Democracy & Technology
                               The State of Texas
03/05/03          Oral argument in Supreme Court (transcript)
06/23/03          Supreme Court upholds CIPA
07/24/03          FCC issues Order implementing CIPA

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