Texas Appeals Court Rules That Law Criminalizing ‘Revenge Porn’ Violates Freedom of Speech

Texas’ 12th Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that a 2015 state law that criminalized the practice of posting intimate photos and videos from a previous or current relationship, popularly known “revenge porn,” is unconstitutional.

The court said the Relationship Privacy Act which made revenge porn a misdemeanor punishable with up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine, violated the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment by restricting expression based on the content of photographs and video shared online. The court also said the law was vague and infringed on the rights of third parties who might unknowingly share intimate images that were intended to be private.

“We have concluded that Section 21.16(b) is an invalid content-based restriction and overbroad in the sense that it violates rights of too many third parties by restricting more speech than the Constitution permits,” Chief Justice James T. Worthen wrote in a summation of the ruling. “Accordingly, we hold that Texas Penal Code, Section 21.16(b), to the extent it proscribes the disclosure of visual material, is unconstitutional on its face in violation of the Free Speech clause of the First Amendment.”

The ruling resulted from an appeal lodged with the court by Jordan Bartlett Jones who was charged with unlawful disclosure of intimate visual material in violation of Texas’ revenge porn statute.

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Source: Christian Post