South Holland, Illinois, a small suburb of Chicago, has blocked Comcast on Demand from their town in order to prevent people in that town from ordering pornographic movies via their cable system. It’s not likely to survive a court challenge:
Harvey Grossman, legal director of the Illinois American Civil Liberties Union said the franchise agreement isn’t on solid legal ground.
“The contract can’t waive the Constitution,” he said. “This kind of censorship — and it clearly is censorship — raises very serious constitutional issues.”
The ACLU successfully fought and won a similar battle with the town of Vernon Hills, Ill., more than 20 years ago.
This does highlight the key difference between social conservatives and libertarians. They believe that rights exist at the collective level; we know that they exist at the individual level. For the social conservative, a group of people, whether local or national, has the “right” to decide what other people can and can’t do within that group even if their actions have no effect on them at all, and this is a perfect example of that kind of reasoning.
No one who has Comcast is forced to watch porno movies. In fact, they’re very easily blocked by the individual consumer to make sure their kids don’t watch them. That puts the choice and the responsibility where it should be, with each individual person. But having the ability to control their own choices is not enough for the SoCons; they want the ability to control the choices of other people. The ACLU is willing to take the case; let’s hope a resident of that town volunteers to be the plaintiff.