Washington, D.C.— June 28, 2019 – Today marks one year since the original lawsuit, Woodhull Freedom Foundation et al vs. the United States of America was filed in federal court seeking a Preliminary Injunction against the unconstitutional House bill known as FOSTA, the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, and the Senate bill, SESTA, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act were passed by a misled Congress.
Last year, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon wrongly sided with the government’s assertion that none of the plaintiffs had any standing to bring the suit but he never addressed the constitutionality of the law. We’ve filed an appeal, and now we’re going to have our second day in court on September 20, 2019. Attorneys* for Woodhull and the other plaintiffs will be addressing the panel of 3 appellate judges. We are asking the court to issue the preliminary injunction and put a halt to future enforcement of FOSTA, meaning no one can be arrested and charged until the case has been decided. Read all filings here.
We’ve identified numerous constitutional defects in FOSTA, including violations of the First and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution. FOSTA chills speech and endangers sex workers. The law is vague, overbroad, and constitutes a content-based restriction on protected expression. In addition, the law applies to acts which occurred before the law was passed. We believe FOSTA should be struck down by the courts and discarded into the dustbin of history.
Woodhull remains committed to fighting this dangerous, unconstitutional law. FOSTA violates important constitutional rights and renders sex workers more vulnerable to violence and victimization. We know from history, and from the impact of FOSTA so far, that such laws are used against minority and disadvantaged groups and communities all the time. This fight is important for sex workers, website operators, and anyone who values freedom of speech.
You can help by spreading the word about the dangers of this law, or by contributing to our legal defense fund.