WASHINGTON, D.C.–The Supreme Court in early December agreed to review Reno v. ACLU, which suspended enforcement of the Communications Decency Act.
Under provisions of the CDA, the transmission of any materials to minors that could be construed as indecent could be punishable by up to five years in prison.
A special three-judge federal panel in Philadelphia earlier this year found the CDA to be unconstitutionally overbroad and vague, and enjoined the government from enforcing the law. A similar panel in New York City also concluded the CDA was unconstitutional in Shea v. Reno. The high court has yet to decide whether it will accept that case.
The court will hear oral arguments in March 1997. (Reno v. ACLU; Media Counsel: Steven Shapiro, New York)
GEORGIA–Convicted murderer Ellis Wayne Felker was executed on Friday, November 22, 1996 in Jackson, Ga. Felker had previously been granted a stay of execution so that a court could determine if government officials had violated the state open records law in denying Felker access to records on his case. In late September, the Superior Court in Perry ruled that the government officials had complied sufficiently with Felker’s open records request, and in late October, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed the ruling. (Georgia v. Felker; Requestor’s Counsel: Mike Mears, Atlanta)