Judge Says TN Law Infringes on Free Speech

Jan 7, 2013

A federal judge has ruled that a Tennessee law passed last year that targets online sex ads violates free speech rights.  Judge John Nixon says the law that protects children from sex trafficking is written in a way that infringes on freedom of speech and interstate commerce laws. Backpage.com took the issue to court. The website publishes millions of ads each month that include ones that sell adult services, and it says screening every ad on its site was impossible and would hurt its business.

Nixon granted the company's request for a temporary restraining order against the law.  Nashville Assistant District Attorney Antoinette Welch says websites like Backpage are selling children and women and should be held responsible. Backpage contends that online service providers cannot be held responsible for material posted by another person.