From our private database of 15,100+ case briefs...

Urofsky v. Gilmore

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
216 F.3d 401 (2000)


Virginia state law prohibited state employees from accessing lascivious, sexually explicit material on state computers unless authorized by a state agency. Va. Code Ann. §2.1-805. Six professors (plaintiffs) employed by various colleges and universities in Virginia sued the Commonwealth of Virginia (defendant), alleging that the law violated their First Amendment right to academic freedom. The plaintiffs alleged that the law hindered their ability to teach and perform research. One plaintiff alleged that he declined to assign an online research project on indecency law, and another plaintiff alleged that he could not research sexually explicit poetry in connection with his study of Victorian poets. The plaintiffs were joined in their case by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The district court held in favor of the plaintiffs. Virginia appealed the decision, and a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed the decision. The ACLU requested a rehearing in front of a full court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Wilkins, J.)

Dissent (Murnaghan, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 288,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 15,100 briefs, keyed to 205 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.