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Supreme Court hands down decision in SBAL v. Driehaus: victory for FTRF!

Posted By Jonathan M. Kelley, Thursday, June 19, 2014
On Monday, a unanimous US Supreme Court handed down its opinion in SBAL v. Driehaus, a case concerning the ability to bring pre-enforcement (or facial) challenges to laws that could violate First Amendment rights. FTRF was one of several organizations to join an amicus brief filed in March by Media Coalition.

The Court held in this case that the plaintiff's threat of prosecution was "sufficiently imminent" to allow it to move forward.  It will now return to the lower courts to proceed on other issues.  A full analysis of the opinion is available on SCOTUS Blog.

In a press release, Media Coalition executive director David Horowitz said, “We are gratified that the Court today recognized the immense harm that can occur when individuals are required to put their liberty at risk in order to vindicate their free speech rights. This decision affirms the principle that a person, organization or business should not have to risk prosecution to challenge the Constitutionality of a law.”

Media Coalition noted that the Court cited Virginia v. American Booksellers Association, one of many "mini-CDA" internet content cases in which FTRF and other Media Coalition members were plaintiffs, as an example of a case in which a "reasonable fear of prosecution" provided sufficient standing to challenge a statute (that was ruled unconstitutional). 

In April, FTRF provided a rundown of oral arguments in the case.  See also our press release from March after filing the amiucs.

Tags:  litigation  Media Coalition  SBAL v Driehaus  Supreme Court 

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