Arizona Criminal Law Banning Nude Images Violates First Amendment
On September 23, Media Coalition filed a lawsuit on behalf of some of its members, local booksellers and media organizations challenging an Arizona law banning the distribution of nude images without consent.
The lawsuit argues that the law violates the First Amendment because it is an overbroad content-based restriction on speech. The law criminalizes a wide range of newsworthy, artistic, educational and historical images.
Read about the case »
Supreme Court issues ruling in First Amendment case
On June 16, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus that “a credible threat of enforcement” is a sufficient threat of injury to establish standing in a First Amendment case when bringing a “pre-enforcement” challenge.
The Court cited the standard in Media Coalition’s case Virginia v. American Booksellers Association of a “reasonable fear of prosecution” as an acceptable formulation of the “credible threat” standard. Media Coalition submitted an amicus brief in Driehaus.
Read about the case »
Media Coalition tracks hundreds of legislation in Congress and all 50 states that may have First Amendment implications every year.
The Legislative Tracker includes up-to-the-minute updates of state and federal legislation, as well as Media Coalition’s summary of the legislation.
MEDIA COALITION is an association that defends the First Amendment rights of producers and distributors of books, movies, magazines, recordings, home video, and video games, and defends the American public’s First Amendment right to have access to the broadest possible range of information, opinion and entertainment.
Pennsylvania governor signs bill that chills free speech
On October 21, 2014, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed S.B. 508 into law. The legislation would allow a victim of a personal injury crime to bring a civil action against any offender to obtain injunctive relief for “conduct which perpetuates the continuing effects of the crime on the victim.”
We submitted a memo in opposition to the legislation and a letter to Governor Corbett urging him to veto the bill, because it is an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech and a content-based restriction. It would have a substantial chilling effect on producers and distributors of books, movies and other media. The bills would block the distribution of books like In Cold Blood and The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and movies like Goodfellas and The Thin Blue Line.
Frequently Asked Questions: Antigone Books v. Horne
The FAQ explains why booksellers, librarians, publishers and media organizations are challenging an Arizona law criminalizing the publication of a nude photo without the consent of the person depicted. The law is an overbroad content-based restriction on speech, and its severe criminal penalties will have an unconstitutional chilling effect on booksellers and librarians. Many will simply decline to carry any materials containing nude images to avoid the risk of going to prison.Read the FAQ »
Arizona criminal law banning nude images violates First Amendment
A broad coalition of bookstores, newspapers, photographers, publishers and librarians filed a lawsuit in federal court today challenging a new Arizona law that criminalizes speech protected by the First Amendment. “This law puts us at risk for prosecution,” said Gayle Shanks, owner of Changing Hands Bookstore, one of the plaintiffs. “How am I supposed to know whether the subjects of these photos gave their permission?”Read the press release »
New Jersey Assembly Bill 3148: Committee holds hearing on bill
On October 23, 2014, the New Jersey Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs held a hearing on A.B. 3148. The bill would bar any advertisements of goods that are illegal for minors — including those under the state’s “obscene for minors” law — if the website is directed to minors or if the website owner has actual knowledge that a minor is using the website. New Jersey’s “obscene for minors” law does not follow the Miller/Ginsberg standard.See the bill »
U.S. Senate Bill 2536: Attorneys General send letter to Senate Judiciary Committee
On October 20, 2014, 53 Attorneys General sent a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley urging them to pass Senate Bill 2536, the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation (SAVE) Act. The Senate bill includes a recordkeeping provision for those who disseminate ads for commercial sex acts, similar to the requirements under §2257.Read the letter »
Michigan Senate Bill 924: House Committee considering the bill
Michigan S.B. 924 is currently being considered in the House Committee on Criminal Justice. It passed the Senate on June 4, 2014. The bill would bar the posting on the Internet of any “sexually explicit” photograph, drawing or other image of another person with the intent to frighten, intimidate or harass. It would also make it illegal to refuse or fail to remove such a photo upon written request by the person depicted regardless the motivation for posting it.See the bill »
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Media Coalition is the only organization whose sole mission is to protect the First Amendment rights of the media in Congress, state legislatures and the courts. Our members represent the majority of booksellers, publishers, librarians, film, recording and video game producers, and home video and video game retailers in the United States.