The Supreme Court today refused to grant cert. in Mukasey v. ACLU, challenging the Child Online Protection Act of 1998. After several trips to the Supreme Court, the District Court most recently struck the law down for being impermissibly vague and not at all narrowly tailored to meet a compelling interest. The District Court found ‘less restrictive’ ways of shielding minors from pornography and held that the COPA therefore was not narrowly tailored. The Third Circuit agreed for the same reasons as the District Court. With the denial of cert. today, the litigation surrounding the case is likely complete.
The law imposes fines and other penalties on individuals who post “material that is harmful to minors” on the internet and even harsher penalties for voluntarily doing that or doing it for commercial purposes.