Leonie Brinkema Biography

This page was last updated in 1999.

U.S. District Court Judge, Eastern District of Virginia, at Alexandria. Albert V. Bryan Courthouse, 401 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314-5798. 703-299-2116.

Judge Brinkema recently presided in two Internet related cases which received wide publicity, Urofsky v. Allen and Mainstream Loudoun v. Loudoun County Library.

See, Summary of Mainstream Loudoun v. Loudoun County Library.

In the Loudoun case website operators and authors whose web pages may have been blocked asked the federal court to prevent the county public library from using Internet blocking software on public access computers in the library. All plaintiffs alleged that use of the software violated their First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Judge Brinkema agreed, and found the library's policy unconstitutional. The library decided not to appeal.

The Congress is very likely to pass a bill requiring schools and libraries receiving e-rate subsidies to use filtering software. In the inevitable legal challenge, the ACLU will rely heavily on Judge Brinkema's November 23, 1998 Opinion in the Loudoun case.

In the Urofsky case several Virginia state employees challenged the constitutionality of a state statute barring state employees from using their computers at work to view porn. Judge Brinkema agreed, and held the statute unconstitutional. Virginia appealed, and Judge Brinkema was reversed by a unanimous Opinion of a three judge Court of Appeals panel.


Work Experience.

U.S. District Court Judge.