D. J. Bernstein
Bernstein v. United States

Summary of the case status

I sued the government in February 1995 in a federal trial court, the District Court for the Northern District of California, challenging the constitutionality of ITAR.

The District Court denied the government's initial motion to dismiss, and then held in December 1996 that ITAR was unconstitutional.

The government shifted cryptography censorship from ITAR to EAR. The District Court held in August 1997 that EAR was unconstitutional, and issued an injunction against the government.

The government appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; the injunction was stayed. A three-judge appellate panel affirmed the District Court in May 1999.

The government asked for en-banc review (11 judges instead of 3); the panel decision was withdrawn. Before en-banc review could happen, the government added a big exception to the regulations, and the case was sent back to the District Court.

Cross-motions for summary judgment were filed on 29 April 2002. 20-page responses were filed on 2 August 2002. Final 15-page replies were filed on 3 September 2002. A joint statement of facts was filed on 16 September 2002.

At oral argument on 18 October 2002, the government backed away from its regulations. The District Court subsequently dismissed the case on ripeness grounds.