FSC Issues Statement Over 2257 Ruling

Rhett Pardon

PHILADELPHIA — Jeffrey Douglas, board chair of the Free Speech Coalition, said that the adult industry trade group is reviewing today's 74-page opinion over federal record-keeping statutes 18 U.S.C. §§ 2257 and 2257A.

Douglas said that while the trade group will be issuing a more detailed statement later, the organization was not surprised by U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson's refusal to grant more extensive relief, especially in the First Amendment arena. 

"We are pleased by much of his Fourth Amendment analysis, where he acknowledges the structural incompatibility of the statute and regulations with Americans’ rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. Although he did not issue an injunction against unannounced, warrantless searches, he declined only because he was convinced that the government would not do so in the foreseeable future. 

"He went out of his way to say that if the government did again proceed with unannounced, warrantless searches, injunction relief would be available. Most significantly, he did hold unconstitutional unannounced, warrantless searches of private homes for 2257 records, something the government did in over 20 percent of the past inspections.

"Even on the First Amendment issues, the trial court record gives us great optimism for appeal by the 3rd U.S. Circuit of Appeals. Many of Judge Baylson’s findings in both First Amendment and Fourth Amendment areas provide a strong basis for reversal and the ultimate dismantling of 18 U.S.C. § 2257."