United States v. American Library Association, Inc., 539 U.S. 194, 20 (2003)

Page:   Index   Previous  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  Next

Cite as: 539 U. S. 194 (2003)

Opinion of Rehnquist, C. J.

Appellees mistakenly contend, in reliance on Legal Services Corporation v. Velazquez, 531 U. S. 533 (2001), that CIPA's filtering conditions "[d]istor[t] the [u]sual [f]unctioning of [p]ublic [l]ibraries." Brief for Appellees ALA et al. 40 (citing Velazquez, supra, at 543); Brief for Appellees Multnomah et al. 47-48 (same). In Velazquez, the Court concluded that a Government program of furnishing legal aid to the indigent differed from the program in Rust "[i]n th[e] vital respect" that the role of lawyers who represent clients in welfare disputes is to advocate against the Government, and there was thus an assumption that counsel would be free of state control. 531 U. S., at 542-543. The Court concluded that the restriction on advocacy in such welfare disputes would distort the usual functioning of the legal profession and the federal and state courts before which the lawyers appeared. Public libraries, by contrast, have no comparable role that pits them against the Government, and there is no comparable assumption that they must be free of any conditions that their benefactors might attach to the use of donated funds or other assistance.7

7 Relying on Velazquez, Justice Stevens argues mistakenly that Rust is inapposite because that case "only involved, and only applies to, . . . situations in which the government seeks to communicate a specific message," post, at 228, and unlike the Title X program in Rust, the E-rate and LSTA programs "are not designed to foster or transmit any particular governmental message." Post, at 229. But he misreads our cases discussing Rust, and again misapprehends the purpose of providing Internet terminals in public libraries. Velazquez held only that viewpoint-based restrictions are improper " 'when the [government] does not itself speak or subsidize transmittal of a message it favors but instead expends funds to encourage a diversity of views from private speakers.' " 531 U. S., at 542 (quoting Rosenberger v. Rector and Visitors of Univ. of Va., 515 U. S. 819, 834 (1995) (emphasis added)). See also 531 U. S., at 542 ("[T]he salient point is that, like the program in Rosenberger, the LSC [Legal Services Corporation] program was designed to facilitate private speech . . ." (emphasis added)); Board of Regents of Univ. of Wis. System v. Southworth, 529 U. S. 217, 229 (2000) ("The University of Wisconsin


Page:   Index   Previous  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  Next

Last modified: October 4, 2007