Cyberspace Communications, Inc.,
AIDS Partnership of Michigan,
Art on The Net,
Mark Amerika of Alt-X,
Web Del Sol,
Glad Day Bookshop, Inc.,
American Civil Liberties Union,
CASE NO. 99-CV-73150
HONORABLE ARTHUR J. TARNOW
The facts of this case, as contained in the stipulated records, affidavits, and witness testimony, are not in dispute. The defendants appealed this Court's decision to grant preliminary injunctive relief. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the decision of this Court. The appellate court held that any final conclusions on the ultimate issues of a case were premature and inappropriate for decision at the preliminary injunction stage. Cyberspace Communications v. Engler, No. 99-2064 (6th Cir. Nov. 15, 2000). Consequently, the Sixth Circuit, per curiam, remanded the cause for further proceedings, to afford the parties the opportunity to argue the merits of the plaintiffs' claims.
The Court conducted a status conference after remand. The parties were given sufficient time to submit supplemental briefs regarding the ultimate issues in the case. Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. Defendants filed a Brief in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment. The Court, having been fully advised on the premises of the issues, HEREBY GRANTS Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment and PERMANENTLY ENJOINS enforcement of Michigan's 1999 Public Act 33.
In ACLU v. Johnson, 194 F.3d 1149 (10th Cir. 1999), the Tenth Circuit affirmed the decision of the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, which preliminarily enjoined the enforcement of a New Mexico statute, N.M. St. § 30-37-3.2(A). Additionally, the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia has likewise entered a preliminary injunction, prohibiting enforcement of a similar Virginia statute, Va.Code Ann. § 18.2-391. PSINET, Inc. v. Chapman, 108 F.Supp.2d 611 (W.D. Va. 2000).
The Court, in granting Plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction, reviewed the standards and law applicable to injunctive relief. At that time, the Court found that there was a substantial likelihood that Plaintiffs would ultimately be successful in proving the merits of their claims. After consideration of the parties' supplemental briefs after remand, the Court hereby finds Plaintiffs' claims to be meritorious.
Plaintiffs offered the testimony, at a prior hearing, of an expert who testified that other, less-intrusive means to filter the reception of obscene materials exist. A parent may utilize filters or child-friendly software to accomplish similar restrictions. The Court previously took judicial notice that every computer is manufactured with an on/off switch, that parents may utilize, in the end, to control the information which comes into their home via the Internet.
Thus, despite the fact that protection of minors is a compelling state interest, the Court finds that 1999 Public Act 33 is neither narrowly tailored nor does it apply the least restrictive means available to achieve that goal. Consequently, the Court finds that Michigan's 1999 Public Act 33 violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
"[A] statute that directly controls commerce occurring wholly outside the boundaries of a State exceeds the inherent limits of the enacting State's authority and is invalid regardless of whether the statute's extraterritorial reach was intended by the legislature." Healy v. The Beer Institute, et al., 491 U.S. 324, 336 (1989). Thus, regardless of the legislature's intent to regulate solely within the State's own borders, the Act would, in effect, attempt to control communications occurring outside of the State of Michigan. Therefore, Michigan's 1999 Public Act 33 would violate the Dormant Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, and may not be enforced.
For the reasons stated herein, as well as the reasons previously stated in this Court's July 29, 1999 Order, the Court holds that the Michigan's 1999 Public Act 33 is unconstitutional. Therefore,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants Michigan Governor John Engler and Michigan Attorney General Jennifer Granholm, in their official capacities, and the State of Michigan ARE PERMANENTLY RESTRAINED AND ENJOINED from enforcing any provision of 1999 Public Act 33.
Judgment Shall Be Entered Accordingly.
Dated: June 1, 2001
Arthur J. Tarnow
United States District Judge
 On the date of this Order, however, the Court has been unsuccessful in its attempt to access the web site for Plaintiff Glad Day Bookshop of Boston, Massachusetts. A phone call to the bookshop reveals that the telephone number is currently not in service.]