XBiz Goes Inside the FSC Complaint Against 2257

Matt O'Conner
CANOGA PARK, Calif. — “In this lawsuit, Plaintiffs challenge the constitutional validity of the federal statute, 18 U.S.C. § 2257, and its regulatory counterpart, 28 C.F.R. Part 75, that impose burdensome and unnecessary record-keeping requirements on producers and distributors of constitutionally protected sexually explicit material,” begins the Free Speech Coalition’s motion in U.S. District Court for a temporary restraining order against enforcement of the new 2257 regulations.

The 14-page motion was accompanied by a 69-page complaint against the Justice Department seeking declaratory and injunctive relief as well as lawyers fees and any additional compensation the court deems proper.

The message of these documents is, in essence, that the court should either throw out the new 2257 regulations or, failing that, immediately block Justice from enforcing them based on a preponderance of flaws and Constitutional violations.

“Given the volume of Plaintiffs’ attacks, and the blatant unconstitutionality of the record-keeping requirement, this motion could continue ad infinitum,” lawyers for the FSC state in the motion’s introductory comments.

The FSC in its motion argues that a TRO should be granted the new 2257 regulations because:

  • it is outside the power of the Attorney General’s office to require “secondary producers” who do not hire, contract for or manage performers to maintain 2257 records;
  • the regulations violate a prohibition on the government enacting laws that apply retroactively;
  • the industry will be irreparably harmed if a TRO is not granted;
  • the government, on the other hand, will not be harmed if a TRO is issued.
  • Among the 28 claims stated in the FSC’s complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief are that 2257:

  • violates the U.S. Constitution by eliminating the presumption that adult expression by adult performers in lawful;
  • does not advance a compelling government interest by the least restrictive means possible;
  • imposes an unlawful prior restraint on speech;
  • is impermissibly vague concerning foreign performers, copies of URLs and other aspects of production;
  • places impermissible burdens on the exercise of First Amendment rights;
  • violates inspection and due process provisions of the Constitution;
  • violates international law regarding disclosure of identification documents.