FSC, Co-Plaintiffs to Ask US Supreme Court to Review Constitutionality of Texas Age Verification Law

FSC, Co-Plaintiffs to Ask US Supreme Court to Review Constitutionality of Texas Age Verification Law

WASHINGTON — Free Speech Coalition (FSC) and its co-plaintiffs in the challenge to Texas’ controversial age verification law have petitioned the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to stay its recent decision upholding the law, because they intend to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to review the law’s constitutionality.

As XBIZ reported, HB 1181 was passed by the Texas legislature in May 2023 and is a much-augmented version of Louisiana’s age verification law and its many copycat versions in other states. At the time, the FSC condemned the law — along with similar laws passed in Utah, Virginia, Mississippi, Arkansas and Montana — as “blatantly unconstitutional” and a “violation of the First Amendment rights of creators, consumers and platforms.”

In August 2023, FSC filed a legal challenge in Texas over HB 1181, which is still ongoing, even after the 5th Circuit ruling. Joining the FSC as co-plaintiffs were an array of adult platforms and workers, including MG Premium LTD; MG Freesites LTD (now Aylo companies); Webgroup Czech Republic, A.S.; NKL Associates, S.R.O.; Sonesta Technologies, S.R.O.; Sonesta Media, S.R.O.; Yellow Production S.R.O.; Paper Street Media, LLC; Neptune Media, LLC; Mediame SRL; Midus Holdings, Inc.; and Jane Doe, an adult content creator.

In the filing, the plaintiffs tell the court that the interval between now and the Supreme Court’s disposition of their forthcoming petition for certiorari, which they argue “has good prospects of being granted,” is likely to be short.

Texas’ Attorney General Ken Paxton has already filed lawsuits against Aylo, xHamster and Chaturbate for failure to comply with the law, an enforcement move that legal experts say is unusual for a highly controversial law that is still making its way through the appeals process and could end up before SCOTUS.

HB 1181 was authored by Paxton’s wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, reportedly with input from pastor Mike Buster of the Prestonwood Baptist megachurch, to which the Paxtons belong.

Motion to Stay

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