Jonathan of The Ethical Spectacle is a Plaintiff in the ACLU Suit

February 9--I am really proud to report that I am one of twenty plaintiffs in the ACLU's action to have the Communications Decency Act declared unconstitutional. Other plaintiffs include journalist Brock Meeks, Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Watch, Queer Resource Directory, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. A complete list of plaintiffs, and their Web sites, can be found at the excellent new ACLU site.

At least three issues of The Ethical Spectacle appear to qualify as indecent under the extremely broad and vague provisions of the Communications Decency Act: An Auschwitz Alphabet (description of human medical experimentation); Humans and their Pornography (description of the material involved in the Amateur Action prosecution, and quotes from anti-porn crusader Catharine MacKinnon); and Freedom of Speech (analyzes Seven Dirty Words case).

At a press conference at ACLU headquarters in DC last Wednesday, a Planned Parenthood official pointed out that the CDA, among other things, extends into cyberspace the law for which Margaret Sanger, the organization's founder, was jailed seventy years ago.

On Thursday, ACLU attorneys asked a federal judge in Philadelphia to issue a temporary restraining order against the new law. The judge declined to grant an immediate order, based on the government's offer not to prosecute anyone under the CDA for seven days. The judge promised to decide by next Wednesday if he will issue the restraining order.

Though the Spectacle itself is a monthly e-zine, I will start updating these pages every week to give progress reports on the case.