Press Release from Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)

June 26, 1997
For Immediate Release
Contact: John Doty
(202) 225-5635

Representative Nadler Hails U.S. Supreme Court Decision Striking Down the "Communications Decency Act"

Calls Decision "a Bill of Rights for the Internet"

U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) today hailed the rejection by the U.S. Supreme Court of the "Communications Decency Act."

Rep. Nadler, who was one of 16 members who voted against the measure when it passed the House of Representatives in 1996 said, "I am pleased that a majority of the Supreme Court has recognized that this law was the cyberspace equivalent of book burning. The Court's decision will ensure that Americans will not have to sacrifice their fundamental rights when they log on to the Internet."

Rep. Nadler, who represents New York City's "Silicon Alley," a cluster of emerging Internet innovators, was an outspoken opponent of the CDA when it was considered by the House Judiciary Committee. Rep. Nadler serves on the Subcommittee on the Constitution.

Rep. Nadler called the CDA an excessive reaction to the public's concern that inappropriate material would be available to young children on the Internet. "As a father, I understand the concerns of parents. But there are technologies currently available to parents to screen what their kids see on the Internet without reducing the free speech of adults to what would be appropriate for an 8-year-old. There is simply no need to censor the speech of adults to protect children."

Rep. Nadler said, "We won in Philadelphia, we won in New York, and now we have won in the Supreme Court. We promised not to give up the fight, and to continue our efforts to keep the Internet free, and we have done just that."

Rep. Nadler said, "I hope that Congress and the President will read the Court's decision and learn from it. WE don't need, and cannot afford, renewed efforts to evade the Court's decision and censor speech on the Internet. I am thankful that the Supreme Court has joined the choir of voices that have declared this bill an indecent assault on American liberty."