Fourth Circuit Invalidates Internet Speech Regulation

Andrew Raff
March 26, 2004

Yesterday, in PSINet, Inc. v. U.S. Internet Service Provider Assoc., the Fourth Circuit struck down a Virginia state law which criminalizes the dissemination of material harmful to minors over the Internet. The court relied on both First Amendment and Commerce Clause grounds to affirm the District Court's summary judgment ruling.

Ernest Miller looks at the decision, Divided 4th Circuit Invalidates Virginia's Internet Speech Regulation Statute and notes that "two district judges were sitting by designation and upheld the lower court decision. Appellate Judge Paul Niemeyer dissented. Unfortunately, this increases the possibility of en banc review in what many consider the most conservative Federal Circuit."

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