Spam Revisited: Virginia-style

By Ethan Ackerman

The Virginia Supreme Court revisits its First Amendment holding in Jaynes.

In what is likely a second stroke of luck for criminal spammer Jeremy Jaynes, the Virginia state Supreme Court recently granted a discretionary rehearing on the earlier 4-3 opinion. The Court limited review to First Amendment standing issues. These standing issues were the focus of skepticism in the dissent and in an earlier post on this blog.

The rehearing order is here.

This blog’s earlier post discussing the ruling is here.

UPDATE 9/12/08

After granting a discretionary re-hearing, the Supreme Court of the State of Virginia reversed its earlier opinion, and Jaynes’ coviction, and held the Virginia anti-spam statute unconstitutionally violates the 1st Amendment. Since the statute covers non-commercial as well as commercial speech, the Court ruled it is unconstitutionally broad. In doing so, the court concluded that its initial reading of Hicks was problematically narrow, and Jaynes properly had overbreadth standing.