CDA OVERTURNED BY THE SUPREME COURT
A little more than two years ago, Senator James Exon of Nebraska introduced legislation that he promised would "keep the information superhighway from resembling a red light district", and set for an effort to restrict content on the Internet. Today the Supreme Court struck down the Communications Decency Act, all nine justices agreeing that the law unconstitutionally restricted communications among adults. Congress will continue to be faced with technology related issues, they're certain to revisit efforts to child proof the Net. Only time will tell if Congress has learned anything about the Net in the meantime.
To read the Supreme Court's decision and find other information related to the CDA visit the The Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition at www.ciec.org.
BUDGET DEAL DOCUMENTS ONLINE
In a recent speech on the House floor, Speaker Newt Gingrich announced the availability of a home page on which documents related to the budget deal can be found. The Speaker said, "Every talk-radio show host, every single potential critic, every columnist will have access to the same data, but so will citizens without editing by anyone". The budget agreement was passed this week. For a different spin, read about it from the House Democrats' point of view, as this week's "Outrage of the Week".
House Republican Conference - Special Briefing on the Balanced Budget Deal
House Democratic Leadership - "Outrage of the Week"
SENATE DEMOCRATS HOLD MARATHON CHAT
After House Republicans had chosen to go home for their Memorial Day recess without passing emergency disaster relief legislation, and Senate Republicans choose to repeatedly adjourn the Senate rather than pass the legislation, Senate Democrats took their case for the need for a clean disaster relief bill to the radio airways and online chat rooms in an all night vigil in the Capitol. Democratic Senators, Representatives, and staffers stayed at the keyboards all night, chatting about the issue in "The Great Debate" forum on America Online.
There was never a dull moment. One chatter was logged on with the screen name, John Huang, and another offered Congresswomen DeLauro of Connecticut the warm welcome, "Hey, Rosa Baby!" But a crowd of more than 80 chatters kept at it all night. Only at about 6:OO am did the room begin to empty, presumably chatters also need to sleep, or to face the fact that it was time to go to work.
Other Senators recently found chatting included Senators Mitch McConnell and John McCain in a back to back discussion on Campaign Finance Reform (also in the Great Debate), and Carol Moseley-Braun discussion Title IX on Time.Com.
Take a look at the online vigil photo album.
THE CONGRESSIONAL SOFTBALL LEAGUE
The Hill may be best known for hardball of the political sort, but in the summertime the mall and every other available patch of grass in the District can always be found hosting a friendly game of softball. It's been a few years since my own glory days with the Ted Sox, but a visit to the Congressional Softball League's home page is certain to spark a yearning to pick up a glove, or at least a grin at some of the team names.
The Congressional Softball League
That's all for now!
Copyright ©1997 by Chris Casey