2257 Lawsuit Update
September 4th, 2015
There has been a new development in the 2257 and 2257A lawsuit in which I am one of the named plaintiffs. In summary, we won a minor point at trial in federal court. We appealed that decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. We won more points in that appeal on our Fourth Amendment arguments, although we did not get everything we sought.
However, the court did not uphold our arguments on First Amendment issues raised by these laws. We requested a rehearing on those issues, and the remaining Fourth Amendment issues, before the panel of judges who heard our arguments for the appeals court. We cited two Supreme Court decisions issued since the panel had issued their opinion which we believe strengthen our arguments under both the First & Fourth Amendments. Such rehearings are rarely granted.
But, the panel has granted our petition for rehearing. We are asking that it reexamine our First Amendment claims and that it strike down the statutes on their face under the Fourth Amendment.
Where it stands now: it looks like the panel will issue a new opinion addressing our contentions that: (1) under Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Az., the statutes are content based and must be reviewed under strict scrutiny, which they can’t survive, and (2) under City of Los Angeles v. Patel, the statutes themselves (as opposed to the regulations) must be struck down under the Fourth Amendment.
It remains to be seen just how the court will proceed and, of course, what the outcome will be. But this is good news for the suit and for everyone who is affected by these onerous laws.
Of course, I’ll update as this moves forward when I have more news to report.