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Supreme Court Upholds Child Pornography Law

The Supreme Court upheld a 2003 federal law's provision criminalizing the promotion or presentation of child pornography. Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal analyzes the Court's decision.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    The ruling was a victory for law enforcement agencies that want to crack down on child pornography and a defeat for those who think some of that prosecution undercuts free speech protections.

    Here to walk us through the decision is NewsHour regular Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal.

    Welcome back, Marcia.

  • MARCIA COYLE, National Law Journal:

    Thanks, Gwen.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    So this case was not really about whether child pornography cases should be prosecuted. It was about more?

  • MARCIA COYLE:

    That's correct. As you know, pornography is protected under the First Amendment. It's protected speech. But child pornography is not.

    In 2003, Congress enacted a law that's known as the Protect Act. It was Congress's second attempt to craft a law that was constitutional and that attacked the proliferation of child pornography on the Internet.

    Congress enacted a law back in 1996 that the Supreme Court found constitutional problems with. And so Congress went back to the drawing board and came up with the Protect Act.

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