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American Libraries Association v. Pataki

Significance, Negative Commerce Clause Applies To Internet, Impact, Ralph Nader, Mayhem Manuals, Further Readings


American Libraries Association, et al.


George Pataki, Governor of the State of New York, et al.

Plaintiff's Claim

That a New York law prohibiting the dissemination of obscene materials to children through a computer placed impermissible burdens on commerce between the states, and was thus unconstitutional.

Chief Lawyer for Plaintiff

Jeanne Lahiff, Assistant Attorney General of the State of New York

Chief Defense Lawyer

Michael K. Hertz


Loretta A. Preska


New York, New York

Date of Decision

20 June 1997


That the New York statute placed substantial burdens on the free flow of commerce and conflicted with generally applicable federal laws, and thus was unconstitutional.

Related Cases

  • Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 (1824).
  • Price v. Bruce Church, Inc., 397 U.S. 137 (1970).
  • Healy v. The Beer Institute, 491 U.S. 324 (1989).
  • Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 512 U.S. 844 (1997).


Current Biography, 1986 p. 402.


Hernandez, Debra Gersh. "Mayhem Online." Editor & Publisher, 24 June 1995, p. 34.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1995 to Present