FC: Morphed child porn law is unconstitutional, judge says

Rohit Khare (rohit@bordeaux.ics.uci.edu)
Wed, 08 Apr 1998 14:55:17 -0700

[We can all rest easy about a.b.p.e.anime :-]

------- Forwarded Message


The Netly News / Afternoon Line
April 2, 1998

Morph-y's Law

The federal government cannot outlaw "lascivious" images of
young-looking adults, a federal judge ruled on Monday. In an 11-page
ruling, U.S. District Judge Gene Carter said a federal law that
criminalizes so-called morphed child porn violates the First
Amendment's guarantees of freedom of speech. "The statute impacts a
significant amount of adult pornography featuring adults who appear
youthful" and is thus unconstitutionally vague and overbroad, Carter
ruled. He dismissed criminal charges against David Hilton, a
48-year-old self-described antiporn crusader who police suspected was,
well, a little too interested in salaciousness for his own good. U.S.
Customs agents admit they met with Hilton starting in 1995 to discuss
kiddie porn on the Internet -- but began to have doubts about his
motivation for collecting the stuff. Even though the court agreed with
Congress's goal of protecting children, antiporn advocates are still
complaining. "The court had no basis to rule the way it did," gripes
Bruce Taylor, president of the National Law Center for Children and
Families. Judge Carter's decision conflicts with one from a California
court, which last summer dismissed a civil lawsuit challenging the same
law. Last month an appeals court heard arguments in that suit, brought
by the adult film industry. --By Declan McCullagh/Washington