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Ashcroft v. American Civil Liberties Union

United States Supreme Court
542 U.S. 656 (2004)


Facts

Congress enacted the Child Online Protection Act (COPA) to protect minors from exposure to sexually explicit materials on the internet. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (plaintiff) brought suit in federal district court against Ashcroft (defendant), Attorney General of the United States, seeking to enjoin enforcement of COPA on the grounds that it violated the First Amendment. The district court held that COPA was unconstitutional and the court of appeals affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Dissent (Scalia, J.)

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Dissent (Breyer, J.)

The dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the dissenting judge or justice’s opinion. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.