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The First Amendment prohibits Congress from enacting a statute criminalizing the generation of computer images of fictitious children engaged in imaginary but explicit sexual conduct, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held Dec. 17, widening a split in the circuits. Specifically, the court struck certain language in the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996, 18 U.S.C. �2256, prohibiting a “visual depiction” that “is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct,” and advertising or promotion of such images, as unconstitutionally vague and overbroad, language which was found last month to be constitutional by the Eleventh Circuit in U.S. v. Acheson, 11th Cir., No. 98-3559, Story, J., 11/12/99 (Free Speech Coalition v. Reno, 9th Cir., No. 97-16536, Molloy, J., 11/17/99).

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