Online Newspaper to Challenge Exon Act

The American Reporter, an online magazine staffed by thirty journalists from the Society of Professional Journalists's Internet discussion list, is challenging the indecency provisions of the Telecommunications Reform Bill recently enacted into law.

Joe Shea, American Reporter's Editor-in-Chief, promises a "battle royal" in the courts. "We are prepared in every respect to take our challenge to the United States Supreme Court at the earliest opportunity," Shea said in a June 24, 1995, news release.

Stephen W. Russell, a Texas state court judge and associate professor of criminal justice at the University of Texas at San Antonio, wrote "The X-On Congress" for the American Reporter, violating the law by commenting indecently on the U.S. Congress who passed it.

The Washington, D.C., law firm of Arent Fox, Kintner, Plotkin and Kahn will donate pro bono legal services to challenge the law immediately upon publication of the article. The law firm is the same one that defended the famous "Seven Dirty Words" case, in which the FCC prohibited the radio broadcast of a George Carlin monologue.