The recent decision resulting from Ashcroft v Free Speech Coalition, 2002 reenergizes many issues related to the First Amendment and free speech. The focus of the aforementioned case is the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 (CPPA). There is a contention as to the courts and legislature's handling of virtual child pornography and whether it garners the same treatment banned as traditional child pornography. All sides of the issue consequently address the scope of the First Amendment, and Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion of the Court where he correctly limited the scope of intervention. Before delving into the hostile arena of virtual child pornography, a broader understanding of the context surrounding the First Amendment and child pornography is necessary for a proper understanding and interpretation of the case.
The Framers of the Constitution so greatly valued the right of individuals and groups to expresses their ideas that they drafted the First Amendment in order to provide protections against limiting free speech. The First Amendment reads "Congress shall make no law
abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances" (First Amendment, United States Constitution). As evidenced by the many cases brought before the Supreme Court, the legislature and the Court find the wording of the amendment unclear and opened to interpretation. Such cases regard the extent to which free speech is indeed free, and not limited by the government. The government saw, and continues to see that limiting free speech under certain circumstances is acceptable. The exact abilities of the government to limit free speech continue to evolve in their scope and spectrum. The Supreme Court found certain cases where the limits placed on free speech were too broad in the legislation. Such instances needed would not pass the notion of a "strict scrutiny test"...
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