June 30, 2004
The Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling that a law passed by Congress to help control the availability of pornography to children "likely" violates the first amendment is another reason it matters who wins this fall's election.
The court ordered both parties in the case to reconsider the issue in a lower court.
The 1998 law, known as the Child Online Protection Act never took effect.
It would have authorized fines up to $50,000 for the crime of placing material that is "harmful to minors" within easy reach of children on the Internet.
Justice Anthony Kennedy said changes in technology would make filtering software a more effective tool to block access than the more restrictive means laid out in the law, such as age verification and use of a credit card.
That pornography has even become a first amendment free speech issue tells you how low our courts have sunk.
The founders had speech and the press in mind, not sleazy pictures. No wonder this country is in trouble with religious fanatics.
Surely Thomas Jefferson is turning over in his grave.
I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C. Watch his television show, After Hours with Cal Thomas, on the Fox News Channel, Saturdays at 11 p.m. Eastern Time.