Federal Judge Sides With Pornhub, Says Age Restrictions And Warnings Violate First Amendment

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Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
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A federal judge sided Thursday with PornHub in a lawsuit over Texas’s law instituting age-restrictions in order to access pornographic sites.

The law was set to go into effect Friday, the day after the judge ruled against the law. It would have required pornographic sites to use “reasonable age verification methods” that would “verify that an individual attempting to access the material is 18 years of age or older.”

The Free Speech Coalition filed the lawsuit Aug. 4. (RELATED: Famous Porn Star Lana Rhoades Appears To Reveal Her Baby Daddy Is An NBA Player)

“Texas is not only forcing sites to put their visitors’ privacy at risk, they are forcing them to broadcast misinformation and pseudoscience about sex and sexuality,” the group’s executive director said. “We are standing up not only for the rights of adult businesses and creators, but for the rights of adult Texans to access legal content in the privacy of their own home, without having to submit to surveillance or propaganda. We can all work to keep minors from accessing adult content, but allowing the government to dictate what information adults can see is unconscionable and unconstitutional.”

A preliminary injunction is in effect against the law, meaning Texas cannot enforce the law while litigation continues.

“This is a huge and important victory against the rising tide of censorship online,” Alison Boden, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, said. “From the beginning, we have argued that the Texas law, and those like it, are both dangerous and unconstitutional. We’re pleased that the Court agreed with our view that HB1181’s true purpose is not to protect young people, but to prevent Texans from enjoying First Amendment protected expression. The state’s defense of the law was not based in science or technology, but ideology and politics.”

The court held that the court has a burden to ensure that the law does not violate “First Amendment doctrine.”

“The Court finds that HB 1181 is unconstitutional on its face. The statute is not narrowly tailored and chills the speech of Plaintiffs and adults who wish to access sexual materials.”