In a case with broad implications for internet access in schools, a federal judge has rejected efforts by a Virginia county to block pornography on computers in its public libraries, declaring the attempts unconstitutional. The ruling marks the first time a federal court has applied First Amendment principles to internet access at a public institution.

In a 46-page decision, District Judge Leonie Brinkema ruled Nov. 23 that Loudoun County's libraries violated free expression rights by screening access to internet sites on all public-use computers. In her ruling, the judge rejected the county's claim that internet access "should be construed as a


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