Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Child Online Protection Act (II)

Michael asks (below), with respect to the Court's recent decision concerning the Child Online Protection Act, "drawing from Catholic Social Thought, how should we resolve the tension between maintaining freedom of speech (and publication) and the desire to protect children (what about adults?) from the glut of pornography on the internet?"

For what it's worth, I tend to have an ACLU-ish view with respect to free-speech matters, not because this view enjoys much support (in my view) in the relevant history, but primarily because (unfortunately?) it strikes me that libertarian, individualist free-speech doctrine plays a useful role in protecting religiously grounded speech and activity, and in constraining -- to some degree -- the state's ideological ambitions. (That said, for me, the real travesty of this Term is that restrictions on core, fundamental political activity were upheld in the campaign-regulation case, McConnell, but a modest effort to channel internet porn was invalidated).

With respect to the internet-porn case, I wonder if there are any interesting connections between Justice Kennedy's emphasis on filtering technologies and self-help mechanisms, on the one hand, and Catholic ideas of subsidiarity, on the other?



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