Louisiana Adult Site ID Law Expected To Face Legal Challenges
As 2023 started in Louisiana, a lot of new laws went into effect. One of them caught a lot of people by surprise. They only learned about it when they tried to access an adult website.
This new law, Louisiana Act 440, requires websites to age-verify users if they have more than 33% of their content deemed to be "pornographic". This means websites are now forced to legally verify age, not just ask "are you 18 or over". Which is requiring them to get access to your photo ID...like a drivers license. Something the State of Louisiana is trying to facilitate through their LA Wallet App.
Many were shocked by this new law, because it quickly and quietly passed the Louisiana legislature, and was quietly signed by Governor John Bel Edwards. There wasn't much debate, there wasn't much public access to it. Just written behind the scenes, snuck out in session, and signed in silence.
But that entire concept of the law is already being called into question by legal experts. It centers around one simple concept: how does the State of Louisiana plan to have jurisdiction over interstate commerce?
Attorney and State Representative Mandie Landry has expressed multiple levels of concern over the law. She gave the following quotes to The Center Square:
"It just lends itself to absurd implications. The question is what is pornography or obscenity, who gets to decide, and how is that enforced? So much of that is in the eye of the beholder."
"how a state court can hold a company in another country or state accountable"
"Adults have the right to do what they want in their homes," Landry said, arguing the age verification is a "high burden considering the risk of a data breech."
All of that is going to be particularly important during a legal challenge. The other part of a legal challenge will likely center around the arbitrary number of "adult content" a site can have. The questions will probably examine sites like Youtube, where over 33% of their content likely has obscene language. Would this law then force Youtube to have to verify the photo ID of users? The same goes for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google, and any other website that hosts something that can be deemed "obscene".