Legal News

Court Upholds Challenge against Federal Laws on Pornography
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit reversed a case dismissed by a district judge in 2010. The lawsuit brought by stakeholders of the adult entertainment industry challenges federal laws that require pornography producers to report the ages of performers.

The district judge had held that the government was within its rights in demanding pornography producers to verify the age of performers and maintain identification records open to federal inspection. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit reversed the ruling and held that the federal regulations violated the First Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights of pornography producers.

The recordkeeping laws which were created to prevent child pornography and induction of minors in the pornographic industry carry criminal penalties for all publishers and producers in the chain who violate the regulations. Primary producers, secondary producers and website publishers, all come under the ambit of the regulations.


The lawsuit was brought by the Free Speech Coalition, a pornography trade organization. Fourteen other members of the adult entertainment industry also joined the suit as plaintiffs. They argued that the regulations were excessive, because, instead of being limited to the keeping of records of performers who had the chance to be minors, the regulations required the identification of ‘all’ performers. They argued that where the performers were mature adults who could not be mistaken for children, the requirements were excessive.

The trial judge granted the government’s request to dismiss the suit. However, the 3rd Circuit has disagreed and ruled that the plaintiffs should be given opportunity before the court to prove their point.

The three-judge panel of the Appeals Court held, “If one of the Plaintiffs employs performers that no reasonable person could conclude were minors, then that plaintiff may be able to demonstrate that the Statutes burden substantially more of that plaintiff’s speech than is necessary to protect children from sexual exploitation.”

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!

Diane Duke, the executive director of the Free Speech Coalition said, “We understand that regulations need to be there. We just need regulations that are reasonable and that we can comply with.” She added that the prospect of facing five years in prison for misfiling a document was unreasonable.

The 3rd Circuit case is Free Speech Coalition et al v. Attorney General of the United States, No. 10-4085.



Part-time Contract Federal Government Contracts Attorney


Koprince Law LLC, a boutique law firm in Lawrence, Kansas that focuses exclusively on the unique leg...

Apply now

Legal Secretary

USA-LA-New Orleans

A New Orleans litigation law firm is seeking an experienced Legal Assistant / Legal Secretary to und...

Apply now

Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney

USA-TX-Fort Worth

We are currently looking for a consumer Bankruptcy Attorney to join our team. This position is respo...

Apply now

Case Manager / Legal Assistant / Paralegal


Want to have a fulfilling career with purpose helping military veterans? We are a *dog friendly* ...

Apply now




Search Now

Tax Attorney

USA-MI-Bloomfield Hills

Bloomfield Hills office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks tax attorney with 10+ yea...

Apply Now

Tax Attorney


Detroit office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks tax attorney with 10+ years of exp...

Apply Now

Litigation Attorney


Illinois office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks litigation attorney with 3+ years...

Apply Now


To Top