Reno v. ACLU (1997) said provisions of the Communications Decency Act that
regulated Internet speech were too restrictive and violated the First
Child Pornography Laws
Child pornography, a form of sexual expression depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, is not entitled to First Amendment protection.
It is similar to obscenity in that it represents a category of sexual expression lacking First Amendment protection, but it covers material that does not meet the legal definition of obscenity.
The federal and state governments have passed numerous statutes outlawing child pornography as well as laws intended to protect children from seeing pornography or obscene images.
Below are cases involving First Amendment challenges to both child pornography laws and laws intended to protect minors from exposure to pornography.
Ashcroft v. American Civil Liberties Union (2004) struck down a law
designed to protect children from Internet pornography on grounds it
violated the First Amendment.
Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition (2002) struck down a ban virtual child
pornography, which, being neither obscene nor child pornography, was
protected by the First Amendment.
The Supreme Court in 2008 upheld a provision of a federal child pornography
law that makes it a crimes to advertise, promote or present child
pornography even if the underlying material does not qualify. In United
States v. Williams, the Court rejected a First Amendment challenge that the
law was overly broad in infringing on free speech.