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03 May 2008
In 2004 Jaynes became the country's first convicted spam felon under the Virginia anti-spam law. He's been appealing his conviction ever since, most recently losing an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court by a 4-3 decision in February. As I discussed in more detail at the time the key questions were a) whether the Virginia law had First Amendment problems and b) whether Jaynes had standing to challenge it. The court answered No to b), thereby avoiding the need to answer a), the dissent answered Yes to both.
I was surprised to see that last week, the Court agreed to a do-over on the First Amendment questions. (I didn't even know courts could do that.) The schedule is fairly brisk, with all briefs due by the 22nd.
As Venkat Balasubramani notes, several recent decisions by the US Supreme Court appear relevant to the standing question, but not necessarily in ways favorable to Jaynes.
Should the court throw out the law, it wouldn't be because it was applied improperly to him, but because it might be applied improperly to someone else. I certainly hope that the court affirms the decision, since one point on which everyone seems to agree is that Jaynes is extremely guilty.
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