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Utah Hearing Held Yesterday

November 9, 2006 Judge Dale A. Kimball heard the Free Speech Coalition’s motion for a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of Utah’s Child Protection Registry (CPR) yesterday in United States District Court in Salt Lake City Utah. The case is Free Speech Coalition v. Shurtleff, No. 2:05-cv-00949.

The CPR is a hopelessly flawed law that not only fails to protect children but violates the First Amendment and Commerce Clause of the U. S. Constitution, and is preempted by the federal CAN-SPAM Act which regulates unsolicited emails under a uniform national system.

“The hearing went well.” Stated FSC attorney Jerome Mooney, “The judge ignored the opposition’s motion to strike and seemed very interested in the dormant commerce clause argument.”  Mooney suggested that the Judge’s ruling might be announced in mid-December at the earliest.

If the Judge grants the injunction, FSC members would be protected from enforcement. This law is already being enforced and many adult businesses are paying tens of thousands of dollars each month to be in compliance.

Stephen Rohde, a constitutional lawyer who argued the case on behalf of FSC said that “the judge was attentive to our claims that it violates the Constitution for individual states to impose burdensome requirements which could force companies to submit their emails lists to 50 different registries.” To date Utah and Michigan have both enacted Do-Not-Email registries.

The litigation is being supervised by FCS Board Chair Jeffrey Douglas, who said, “The effort to enjoin Utah’s CPR is an important part of FSC’s litigation strategy to challenge oppressive statutes which not only burden lawful expression and commerce, but in this case actually expose minors to unwanted intrusion by creating a convenient registry which the Federal Trade Commission believes can be easily hacked.”

The Free Speech Coalition would like to express its deep appreciation to the Utah litigation team – Stephen Rohde, Jerome Mooney, Gregory Piccionelli, Ira Rothken and Bradley Shafer – for their excellent work in this case, and also to FSC Board member and attorney Reed Lee for his astute guidance.

The FSC Motion is supported by the American Advertising Federation, the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the Association of National Advertisers, Inc., the Email Service Provider Coalition, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Center for Democracy and Technology, all of which were granted permission by the Court to participate in this matter in support of FSC.

FSC would also like to thank its members and others in the adult entertainment industry for their support in our fight against the Utah CPR. We share the industry’s disdain for those who use the protection of children as a pretense to push legislation that does not protect children, and in fact makes them more vulnerable to potential exploitation, and we ask the industry to continue support us in these important battles against abusive laws.

The Free Speech Coalitionis the trade association for the adult entertainment industry. Its mission is to safeguard the industry from abusive government regulations and promote good business practices.

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