FSC Says Pence Bill May Strengthen Case Against 2257

Matt O'Conner
CANOGA PARK, Calif. — Legislation proposed this week by Rep Mike Pence, R-Ind., in a bid to beef up the U.S. Justice Department’s 2257 record-keeping regulations may actually strengthen the Free Speech Coalition’s current legal challenge to 2257, according to First Amendment Attorney Jeffrey Douglas.

Regarding the potential impact H.R. 3726, “Child Pornography Prevention Act of 2005,” might have on Free Speech Coalition vs. Alberto Gonzales, FSC Board Chair Douglas said, “If this horrific bill were to become law in its current form, it would change some of our arguments, indeed strengthening several.”

However, Douglas added, “For the purposes of the awaited ruling on our preliminary injunction request, it should have no effect whatsoever.”

Among other provisions, the bill targets adult citizens who record visual images of consensual sexual activity in the privacy of their own homes, adds nudity and clothed images of pubic areas to the definition of “explicit sexual activity” as defined in U.S.C. 18 § 2256, and criminalizes the production and distribution of R-rated mainstream motion pictures that fail to comply with the record creation and notice provisions of 2257, according to the FSC.

As reported by XBiz, the bill was introduced by Pence on Monday, and attached Wednesday afternoon to another bill, H.R. 3132, The Child Safety Act of 2005, with the blessing of that bill’s co-sponsor, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis. The bill was added with no debate.

Sensenbrenner’s bill was passed by the full House the same afternoon in a 371-52 vote and now moves to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.

FSC attorneys and Legislative Affairs Director Kat Sunlove are preparing a complete analysis of H.R. 3726, which will be posted on the organization’s website as soon as it is completed.