3d Circuit: “No child porn charges in sexting case”

by Jason Fischer

The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit handed down its decision this week in the Pennsylvania “sexting” case, in which a prosecutor threatened to press child porn charges against a group of teenage girls for sending cell phone pictures of themselves in bras and underwear.  You can read our anti-gender-bias coverage of the oral arguments here.  In upholding the preliminary injunction requested by the girls’ parents, the Third has declared that District Attorney George P. Skumanick, Jr., cannot use the threat of prosecution to bully them into a court-ordered “re-education” program.  (source)

While education may be the right medicine (if you believe that there’s some disease), that decision is for the teens and their parents to make — not some jackass, let’s-think-outside-the-box DA who thinks he somehow knows what’s best.  As much as I hate the ACLU for politically motivated meddling in the other direction, for once I’m glad they’re helping these families file a civil rights claim against Mr. Skumanick.  (Read that complaint here.)

5 Responses to 3d Circuit: “No child porn charges in sexting case”

  1. Bünzli says:

    What was Skumanick thinking?
    Whenever i read a story about some prosecutor who overreaches in some totally retarded or downright evil way, i figure he thinks it’ll help him get elected to the U.S. Senate or something down the line.
    Guess nobody told him you have to choose your victims carefully. People can get really, really pissed when you screw with their kids.
    But i read elsewhere that Skumanick got voted out of office, though i don’t know if this had anything to do with it.

  2. Kelley says:

    Everybody has a political or at least some self serving angle to everything they do

  3. cord46 says:

    Given the ACLU’s good seminal work in this and so many other 1st Amendent internet cases, I’m left kinda stumped and peeved by Jason’s gratuitous slap about the ACLU’s “politically motivated meddling in the other direction.” Examples?

  4. jfischer1975 says:

    Come on, now.  Who isn’t aware that over the last several years the ACLU has been picking its free speech battles based on the content or the people speaking?

    If you really need an example, how about their support in 2006 for a prohibition on “injurious communications . . . directed toward an individual because of their characteristics or beliefs.”  Coincidentally, The injurious communicators in question were conservative religious students.  Or their curious silence in Harper v. Poway.

    • I do still support the ACLU, but you’re right. They have drifted pretty far from the days when they would stand up for the KKK. and, the ACLU’s entire wing devoted to supporting affirmative action just pisses me off.

      Nevertheless, the ACLU and the NRA both still get my money … for now.

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