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Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union - Significance, America's First Female Attorney General, Further Readings

communications petitioner court decision


Janet Reno, U.S. Attorney General


American Civil Liberties Union

Petitioner's Claim

A federal district court erred in finding two provisions of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Seth P. Waxman

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Bruce J. Ennis

Justices for the Court

Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony M. Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, John Paul Stevens (writing for the Court), David H. Souter, Clarence Thomas

Justices Dissenting

Sandra Day O'Connor, William H. Rehnquist


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

26 June 1997


The provisions of the Communications Decency Act prohibiting indecent transmissions and patently offensive displays are unconstitutional because they abridge the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment.

Related Cases

  • Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629 (1968).
  • Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973).
  • FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978).
  • Renton v. Playtime Theatres, 475 U.S. 41 (1986).
  • Sable Communications of California Inc. v. FCC, 492 U.S. 115 (1989).


Webster's Dictionary of American Women. New York: Merriam-Webster, 1996.

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