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UNITED STATES V.
AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

Basic Info

Plaintiff and Appellee: American Library Association

Defendant and Appellant: United States

Issue: Constitutionality of the Children’s Internet Protection Act

Argued: March 5, 2003; Decided: June 23, 2003

Verdict: 6-3 in favor of United States

Recent related legislation: Deleting Online Predators Act

American Library Association – The ALA is a library association that promotes and aids libraries and education. The organization lobbies Congress on library-related issues and aims to protect intellectual freedom and oppose censorship.

Children’s Internet Protection Act – CIPA is a federal law aimed at shielding children from obscene Internet content in schools and libraries. It requires institutions receiving certain kinds of government funds (E-Rate discounts) to apply a filter to computers used by minors.

The Case

When president Bill Clinton signed CIPA into law on Dec. 21, 2000, the ALA met and voted to challenge the new law. On Jan. 17, 2001, the organization said the law forced libraries to block Internet access to constitutionally protected information. Their argument was that filtering programs cannot distinguish between constitutionally protected and unprotected information. Because of this, requiring libraries to filter Internet access is unconstitutional censorship.

The ALA worked with the American Civil Liberties Union to contest the law in Pennsylvania’s Eastern District Court of Appeals. When the court decided in favor of the ALA, US appealed to the Supreme Court. The Court decided 6-3 in favor of the US, saying CIPA is a constitutional stipulation for accepting government funding so long as the filter can be disengaged upon the request of an adult. Sources

The Oyez Project, United States v. American Library Association , 539 U.S. 194 (2003)

available at: (HYPERLINK "http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2002/2002_02_3...

(last visited Wednesday, April 8, 2009)

HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Amer...

http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/missionhistory/mis...

2 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    im stayin neutral on this one

  • 5 years ago

    Powell v. Alabama 287 U.S. 45 (1932) was a United States Supreme Court decision which determined that in a capital trial, the defendant must be given access to counsel upon his or her own request as part of due process. See the weblink before for more information:

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