Justice Department Suggests June Deadline for New 2257 Regs

Steve Javors
DENVER — Colorado Federal District Court Judge Walker Miller held a status conference with the Free Speech Coalition and its attorneys April 25. The meeting was requested by FSC attorneys in light of Miller’s March 30 ruling, which dismissed some causes of action and allowed others to proceed in light of the Adam Walsh Act’s amendments to 2257.

The Adam Walsh Act was enacted on July 27, 2006.

According to the Federal Register published March 30, the Justice Department’s notice of proposed rulemaking suggests that the new regulations be published in June, with a 60-day comment period to follow.

While the final outcome of the status conference has not been determined, the FSC expects Miller to dissolve portions of the preliminary injunction that ordered the government not to inspect secondary producers.

“We have no reason to anticipate imminent inspections of secondary producers,” the FSC legal team said in a statement. “The reasoning underlying Judge Miller’s preliminary injunction remains valid; that is, prior to July 27, 2006, there was no statutory authority for record-keeping by secondary producers. We are awaiting regulations which will announce the Department of Justice’s position on what secondary producers’ responsibilities are under the July 27, 2006, amendments.”

Even if Miller dissolves part of the preliminary injunction, the FSC said that does not mean inspections of secondary producers are likely in the foreseeable future.

“We are all confident that no court would allow a retroactive obligation to be placed upon secondary producers for which there was no lawful authority when they acquired the images,” said Jeffrey Douglas, FSC board chairman and 1st Amendment attorney. “Furthermore, until the new regulations are finalized, how can any secondary know what their obligations are? For instance, they cannot comply with the regulations applicable to primary producers — actual inspection of the original ID is impossible for a secondary producer.”

Should the government claim such authority, the FSC will immediately seek another court order.