CV NEWS FEED // A federal judge blocked Texas’ age-verification law for pornography, stating that it violated the First Amendment.
The Thursday ruling by Senior District Court Judge David A. Ezra struck down H.B. 1181 the day before it was to go into effect.
“People will be particularly concerned about accessing controversial speech when the state government can log and track that access,” Ezra wrote in his decision striking down the bipartisan law. “By verifying information through government identification, the law will allow the government to peer into the most intimate and personal aspects of people’s lives.”
The bill, which Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed in June, passed both houses of the Texas legislature in a near-unanimous vote. Only one legislator, Rep. Lulu Flores, D-TX, voted against the final version of the bill.
“This is insane,” observed Daily Wire host Matt Walsh on X (formerly known as Twitter). “Every adult oriented product has age verification requirements. But if the same basic standard is applied to internet porn suddenly it’s a First Amendment violation?”
Walsh illustrated that there is a double standard that exists with pornography and other products and services that are harmful to children. “Check ID for alcohol: okay,” he wrote. “Check ID for hardcore internet porn: OMG THE FIRST AMENDMENT IS BEING DESTROYED!!!!”
The Catholic political and social commentator also observed that this double standard even extends to pornographic material not found on the internet.
“Perhaps the most absurd thing about this is that back when they used to sell physical porn magazines at the gas station or whatever, they would check IDs,” he said. “Nobody ever complained that their First Amendment rights were violated.”
Businessman and Republican Presidential Candidate Vivek Ramaswamy went even further than Walsh when he took aim at “addictive social media” as a whole.
“This isn’t a partisan point,” he said. “This is just solving a problem.”
He stated that he believes “addictive social media” should be banned for minors “for the same reasons that you don’t let kids smoke an addictive cigarette by the age of 18, or have an addictive drink of alcohol by the age of 21.”
“You should not be using an addictive social media product beneath the age of 16. Kids aren’t the same as adults,” Ramaswamy emphasized.
“I like freedom for adults,” he added. “Kids aren’t adults.”
Texas is one of seven states to pass age-verification laws protecting children from harmful, pornographic content online. Louisiana became the first state to pass such a law last year and was soon joined by Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, Mississippi, Utah, and Virginia, in addition to the Lone Star state.
All states passed their respective laws with overwhelming bipartisan support and by unanimous or near-unanimous margins.
Last month, CatholicVote reported that “adult industry” giant Pornhub “altogether ceased providing its ‘services’ in three of the seven states that passed age-verification laws: Mississippi, Utah, and Virginia.”
A recent poll showed that 83% of Americans support such laws.
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