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Supreme Court to Review Texas Law Mandating Age Verification for Pornographic Website Access

Supreme Court to Review Texas Law Mandating Age Verification for Pornographic Website Access
Supreme Court to Review Texas Law Mandating Age Verification for Pornographic Website Access

The Supreme Court has agreed to review a Texas state law requiring age verification for accessing explicit content on pornographic websites, following a petition by the Free Speech Coalition (FSC).

This law, which aims to protect minors, mandates that users provide proof of age to access such sites. The case challenges a ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit and will be part of the Supreme Court’s next term starting in October.

Texas is among several states that have enacted similar age-verification laws over the past year, arguing they are necessary to shield minors from inappropriate material. Critics, however, contend that these laws constitute an overreach, potentially creating privacy risks for adults. Pornhub’s withdrawal from operations in these states has brought significant public attention to the issue.

Supreme Court to Review Texas Law Mandating Age Verification for Pornographic Website Access

Supreme Court to Review Texas Law Mandating Age Verification for Pornographic Website Access

The FSC argues that the Texas law burdens adults’ access to constitutionally protected expression by requiring the submission of personal information to access intimate content. The FSC highlights the unique privacy and security concerns of the internet, stressing that the law infringes on First Amendment rights by imposing undue restrictions on adult users.

This case represents another significant First Amendment issue before the Supreme Court. The court recently sent a case regarding social media content moderation back to lower courts and ruled on the extent to which social media companies can interact with federal officials concerning misinformation.

As the Supreme Court prepares to hear this case, it will consider the balance between protecting minors and safeguarding adults’ rights to access explicit content. The outcome could have wide-reaching implications for both online privacy and First Amendment protections.

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