Supreme Court denies request to hear Texas pornography age-verification case

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a challenge to a Texas pornography law that requires online companies to verify users are adults before providing them with access to pornographic content. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

April 30 (UPI) -- The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to hear a First Amendment challenge to a new Texas law requiring online sites to verify users' ages before giving them access to pornographic content.

The 2023 Texas law seeks to protect minors by requiring adults to complete age-verification measures that require users to submit personal identification in order to access adult content.

The Free Speech Coalition, a pornography industry trade group, and several companies, such as adult content site Pornhub, filed an emergency application to challenge the new law's constitutionality based on the First Amendment, NBC News and the New York Times reported.

The court denied an emergency application to hear the case without providing a reason or any dissents in the matter.

A U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals panel on March 7 upheld the law by vacating a federal district court's injunction against enforcing the state law's age-verification requirement.

The federal appellate court found the state has a "legitimate interest in preventing minors' access to pornography," so the age-verification requirement doesn't violate the First Amendment.

The appellate court agreed the Texas porn law unconstitutionally compels speech by requiring websites that provide adult content to publish health warnings regarding the potential effects of viewing pornography.

The Texas porn law's challengers argued the Texas law "requires adults to comply with intrusive age-verification measures."

Pornhub officials in a March statement said "age verification is ineffective, haphazard and dangerous" and won't protect children.

The popular provider of online adult material said the law will lessen content creators' ability to post and distribute legal adult content, which directly affects their "artistic messages."

Pornhub officials are blocking Texas IP addresses from accessing its website due to the law that took effect on Sept. 1.