Virginia anti-spam law now dead after Supreme Court rejects appeal

After losing a unanimous decision by the state's Supreme Court last September, the State of Virginia appealed to the US Supreme Court to breathe new life into an anti-spam law that was intended to put serial spammers behind bars. A constitutional rights appeal by convicted spammer Jeremy Jaynes, convicted in 2005 and sentenced to nine years' imprisonment, met with overwhelming victory, but state lawmakers saw the nation's highest court as their last chance.

It was not to be. Though the high court's Web site has yet to carry the news (sometimes it takes a few hours or even a day to update), the Associated Press is reporting that the court has refused to hear the State of Virginia's appeal. The State Supreme Court had earlier ruled that the Virginia law failed to explicitly distinguish between "commercial spam" and "personal spam," and in so omitting, traversed the boundaries of professional conduct by limiting free speech.

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