Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton secured a significant win in the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals against pornography distributors suing to stop Texas from implementing a new law requiring pornography sites to verify whether a user is 18 years or older. The ruling stayed a district court’s injunction against the law, allowing the Office of the Attorney General (“OAG”) to enforce it and protect Texas children.
After the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1181 earlier this year, pornography companies, including the owners or operators of Pornhub, XVideos, and XNXX, filed a lawsuit attempting to prevent the law from going into effect. The legislation requires websites hosting adult content to verify a user’s age and include a warning describing the harmful medical and societal side effects of pornography consumption.
The OAG appealed the district court’s injunction and the Fifth Circuit’s stay of that injunction means that any company found to have violated the age verification requirement will be subject to fines of up to $10,000 per day, an additional $10,000 per day if the corporation illegally retains identifying information, and $250,000 if a child is exposed to pornographic content due to not properly verifying a user’s age.
“Texas has a right to protect its children from the detrimental effects of pornographic content,” Attorney General Paxton said. “As new technology makes harmful content more accessible than ever, we must make every effort to defend those who are most vulnerable.”
To read the order, click here.