Federal court blocks Louisiana online verification law
BATON ROUGE – A judge signed an order permanently preventing Louisiana from enforcing a 2015 state law that required websites to verify the age of internet users before accessing non-obscene material.
The order was signed by Chief Judge Brian A. Jackson of federal district court on Friday. Judge Jackson previously granted a preliminary injunction in the case, Garden District Book Shop v. Stewart that states the law does not "adequately notify individuals and businesses in Louisiana of the conduct it prohibits, which creates a chilling effect on free speech."
Two independent booksellers, Garden District Book Shop and Octavia Books joined Media Coalition and the American Civil Liberties Union in filing a lawsuit to fight the law last November.
The law would have required for the bookstores, along with all website owners, to put an age confirmation button on their entire website when accessing pages or check each item to see if it could be considered inappropriate for minors. A failure to do so would have been a crime subject to a $10,000 fine.
Earlier this year, the state determined that it would not defend the law and agreed with the injunction.