News On Our 2257 Lawsuit
June 8th, 2016
As you may know I’m one of the named plaintiffs in a lawsuit, originally filed in 2009, seeking to have the laws known as 2257 and 2257A declared to be unconstitutional. I just received news on our latest appeal.
We’ve won again. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has agreed with our appeal and sent our suit seeking to have the 2257 and 2257A laws declared to be unconstitutional back to the trial judge to be reconsidered. The appeals court determined that, in light of recent Supreme Court rulings, the 2257 laws must be evaluated under “strict scrutiny” to determine if they violate the First Amendment of the Constitution. We do not believe that the laws can withstand that scrutiny and will be found to be unconstitutional.
In addition, the appeals court found that the inspection provisions of the laws are unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment.
Here is the summary of the court’s opinion in case number 13-3681:
“This case reaches us for the third time and requires us to consider the import of two recent Supreme Court cases, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, 135 S. Ct. 2218 (2015), and City of Los Angeles v. Patel, 135 S. Ct. 2443 (2015), on the constitutionality of the recordkeeping, labeling, and inspection requirements set forth in 18 U.S.C. §§ 2257 and 2257A (collectively, “the Statutes”) and their accompanying regulations, 28 C.F.R. §§ 75.1-75.9. In light of Reed, we determine that the Statutes are content based, and therefore require strict scrutiny review under the First Amendment. We will remand to the District Court to determine whether the Statutes withstand strict scrutiny. In light of Patel, we conclude that the inspection provisions of the Statutes 1 and 28 C.F.R. § 75.5 are facially unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment.”
This does not mean that the fight is over, but this is a major victory and could mean the end of these onerous laws.