Does using filters to block parts of the Internet violate the First Amendment?

Monday, December 2, 2002

Not if parents install the filters at home, because in that case the government is not involved. Constitutional violations require state action or governmental involvement. The question becomes whether public schools or public libraries violate the First Amendment when they install blocking software on computers accessible by the public. In June 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in United States v. American Library Ass’n, Inc. that mandatory filtering in public libraries does not violate the First Amendment. The Court’s decision overturned a lower court ruling that such filtering was unconstitutional.