Justice Dept. Posting Notice Monday for 2257 Comments

Rhett Pardon

CHICAGO -- The Federal Register on Monday will publish the Justice Department's legally mandated call for public comments about the economic and manpower burdens associated with 18  U.S.C.  § 2257 for adult entertainment records creation and maintenance.

Adult industry attorney Joe Obenberger, who published an article titled "All of the Regulations Are on the Table ... Write to DOJ Now!" on his firm's XXXLaw.com website on Sunday, calls the public-comment period a "call to action."

Adult entertainment professionals "have 30 days to comment ... to create an administrative record that can later be used in court, and it's possible to do so anonymously."

"Obviously, DOJ can't just walk away and not regulate because there is a statute," he said in an XBIZ.net post. "But they have huge and tremendous discretion and most of the burden, and most of the confusing craziness is a product of how they have implemented the mandate of Congress in their bewildering regulations."

Obenberger said that "the whole regulatory structure is now on the table."

"It's time to write, to create a factual record that can be used later in litigation, both to challenge the regulations directly and as a matter of criminal defense," he said.

"Write to Andrew Oosterbahn, the chief regulator. Do so before April 25, 2012. Do it like it counts. It does. He is no idiot. Not by miles."

In his call to action, Obenberger said that all of the comments will be recorded and "form potentially valuable ammunition with which to attack the regulations and to defend people charged with violating it."

"Now is the time to set out the burden of compliance and form a record of the burden."

The Free Speech Coalition continues its appeal at the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to fight the dismissal of its lawsuit targeting 2257. A 3rd Circuit panel heard oral arguments in the case in January but has yet to rule on the appellate challenge.