The Champion

January 2009 , Page 32 

Search the Champion Looking for something specific?

Preview of Member Only Content

For full access: login or Become a Member Join Now

Defending Internet Pornography Cases By Challenging Interstate Jurisdictional Elements Under U.S. v. Schaefer

By Colin Fieman

Defending clients charged with receipt or possession of child pornography presents unique challenges. Apart from the mental health problems clients may be laboring under and the visceral reaction judges and jurors have to these types of offenses, many pornography cases arrive with damaging admissions, forensic reports from government computer experts, and draconian penalties. As the recent decision in United States v. Schaefer1 shows, however, Internet pornography cases can sometimes be successfully defended by focusing on the frequently overlooked interstate commerce element of the receipt and possession statutes.2  

For practitioners who may be unfamiliar with these statutes, it is important first to note that an interstate commerce defense has nothing to do with the power of Congress under the Constitution’s interstate commerce clause to criminalize receipt or possession of pornography. That authority cannot be seriously disputed.3 Instead, the defense arises from the interstate juri

Want to read more?

The Champion archive is reserved for NACDL members.

NACDL members, please login to read the rest of this article.
login

Not a member? Join now.
Join Now
Or click here to see an overview of NACDL Member benefits.

See what NACDL members say about us.

To read the current issue of The Champion in its entirety, click here.

  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
  • Academic Requests: Full articles of The Champion Magazine are available for academic and research purposes in the WestLaw and LexisNexis databases.

In This Section

Advertisement Advertise with Us
ad