FSC Attorney: Government Is Hostile Towards Sexual Expression

Jul 28, 2010 11:00 AM PST
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge’s dismissal of FSC’s 18 U.S.C. § § 2257 and 2257A lawsuit has fueled the trade group’s determination even further to get the case heard in the appeals process and get the dismissal reversed.

FSC attorney J. Michael Murray told XBIZ that the dismissal was a setback, but they aren’t discouraged.

“We are looking forward to presenting our case at the 3rd [U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals]; we have compelling constitutional arguments, and we have great confidence the court will reverse this erroneous ruling.”

According to the ruling, the judge said “this court concludes that it does not implicate any reasonable expectation of privacy that producers may claim to have in the records they are required to maintain, and also that it amounts to a valid warrantless administrative search.”

The decision agreed with the 2257 statute allowing federal agents to go into adult business’ and search the records and producers are required to keep in addition to putting a label on their material.

“They’re wrong,” Murray said. “The district judge is wrong. We have an extremely strong 4th Amendment attack on the statute.”

Murray added the adult community has always been careful in checking for proper identification. He said that the statute unfairly targets adult businesses by requiring them to maintain records for government inspection.

“This is a special statute that only applies to sexual materials. It mandates record keeping that no other business is required to maintain,” he said, adding that the statute reflects “a governmental hostility towards sexual expression.”

But the statute, Murray said, has even broader implications, affecting those who are not in the adult business.

“It also applies far beyond adult,” he said. “It imposes a burden on individuals who are not in adult. Any image of a sexual nature, you must put a label on the image and collect records.”

Murray added the statute also affects social-networking sites, email, cellphones, texting, photography and any other venue where information can be exchanged.

“It imposes an unnecessary burden that can’t be justified,” he said. “It’s a law of alarming breadth.”

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