The lawmakers have proposed a Texas law that requires its citizens to verify their age when viewing pornographic websites.
The state law also asks the websites to display a health warning for all viewers. A federal judge has passed the decision to block this law a day before the law was set to take effect.
What Does The Judge Say?
According to U.S. District Judge David Ezra, this proposed law was violating the First Amendment rights of free speech. Judge Ezra also said that the law was “too vague”.
The Free Speech Coalition is an adult entertainment trade association that filed this lawsuit in the first place. This ruling came on Thursday in favor of the Free Speech Coalition.
The Judge delivered a formal statement. He said that this age verification component of the proposed law, House Bill 1181, was unconstitutional.
The law “is constitutionally problematic because it deters adults’ access to legal sexually explicit material, far beyond the interest of protecting minors.”
The Law was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott back in June 2023.
Will There Be An Appeal?
The ruling stops the state attorney general from bringing the law into force.
The attorney general, who is also a defendant in the case, has decided to file for an appeal with the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Louisiana.
Judge Ezra felt that age verification could give rise to privacy concerns.
There are two methods for age verification under the law. The first one is by means of a government-issued ID.
The government can choose not to delete data regarding access and keep it. “People will be particularly concerned about accessing controversial speech when the state government can log and track that access.” – the ruling held.