cr> NY Times: “what Congress never should have written”


Craig A. Johnson

The lead editorial in today's New York Time is a welcome show of
support to the ACLU court challenge of the "indecency" provisions of
the telecom act.  



(Excerpt)               The New York Times, Friday, February 9, 1996

                        FIXING COMMUNICATIONS LAW

        "First Amendment advocates rushed into court yesterday to block the
'indecency' provisions of a new telecommunications bill that
President Clinton has signed into law.  The plaintiffs charge,
correctly, that the law imposes needless restrictive and
unconstitutional bans ofn the transmission, over computer networks,
of indecent and abortion-rleated materials.  If the advocates
succeed, the courts will knock out what is plainly wrong with this
new law.        

        "First, the law's prohibition is universal, applying around the
clock and thereby blocking the right of adults to communicate as the
Fist Amendment says they can.   The law would do what the Supereme
Court has often said should not be done -- reduce everyone's
communication down to a level judged appropriate for children. ..."

        "Besides, the provision ignores the Supreme Court's instruction to
tailor any prohibition on speech to minimally necessary restrictions. 

        "The American Civil Liberties Union and others that challenged
the indecency provisions of the new law have done the country a
favor. The will give the courts an early opportunity to strike what
Congress should never have written."


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