Justice Department Wants More Time to Respond to FOSTA Lawsuit

Justice Department Wants More Time to Respond to FOSTA Lawsuit
Rhett Pardon

WASHINGTON — Justice Department attorneys have asked a federal judge to extend by two weeks their response to a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of FOSTA and seeks a preliminary injunction over the new law.

Woodhull Freedom Foundation and other plaintiffs sued the government last month following President Trump signing FOSTA into law in early April.

FOSTA, known formally as the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, brings new tools for law enforcement, including the ability to bring criminal charges against the operators of sites that facilitate prostitution.

Woodhull and the other plaintiffs noted First and Fifth Amendments violations come with the law amending Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provided companies immunity from most liability for publishing third-party content.

Sex workers and civil liberties advocates have condemned FOSTA’s heavy-handed approach ever since legislation in both the Senate and House gathered steam.

Yesterday, Justice Department attorneys said they objected to Tuesday’s deadline to file an opposition to Woodhull’s motion for preliminary injunction.

Instead, the government has asked U.S. District Judge Richard Leon to approve a Friday, July 20, deadline for a response.

Woodhull and other plaintiffs, however, said they are opposed to any extension of time that goes past Monday, July 16

Additional time is needed to formulate a response in part because counsel from the Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section was on a pre-arranged trip the past week and will return on Monday, the government said.

Leon likely will decide on the motion for an extension on Monday.

Check out Woodhull’s lawsuit here.