opinion

2257 Decision Reversed on Appeal in Third Circuit

Diane Duke

Free Speech Coalition (FSC) received news this morning that it won the appeal to the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, overturning an earlier District Court decision to dismiss the suit challenging the constitutionality of 18 U.S.C. § 2257 and 2257a. This allows the lawsuit to continue in the District Court.

The suit was originally filed by FSC and 14 other plaintiffs.

This decision represents a significant victory for FSC, the other plaintiffs and their attorneys, in opposing the regulations governing age verification record-keeping for adult producers and adult performers.

“FSC would like to thank our attorneys Mike Murray and Lorraine Baumgardner for their incredible work on this case thus far,” FSC Executive Director Diane Duke. “This decision is critical in three ways – it was unanimous, it supports the arguments that FSC has made all along and it supports the 4th amendment question included in our most recent challenge to 2257. This is a very important next step in our work to eliminate the burden from the adult industry of this onerous regulation.”

Attorneys Murray and Baumgardner represented FSC and the other plaintiffs in the suit, which challenged 2257 and 2257a on grounds that the regulations violate the First Amendment rights of adult producers and threaten the privacy rights of adult performers.

“We are thrilled today with the victory today, in the Third Circuit, reversing the District Court’s decision dismissing constitutional challenges to 2257 and 2257a,” said Murray. “We’re excited the Third Circuit agreed the First and Fourth Amendment claims are worthy and we’re looking forward to returning to District Court, where we’ll be in a position to put on evidence to demonstrate the constitutional infirmities of this burdensome statutory scheme.

“This represents a great victory for free speech rights and rights of privacy under the Fourth Amendment,” Murray added.

FSC has challenged 2257 regulations on behalf of the adult industry since 2005, when the regulations first came into effect.

(Photo: Some rights reserved by Jim Sweenley)

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