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9th Circuit Challenge Update after Defeat
06-04-2018, 03:15 PM
Post: #1
9th Circuit Challenge Update after Defeat
Court Case Update: 60 day extension
We are still wrestling with the consequences of the Ninth Circuit upholding the District Court’s dismissal of our case. And struggling with the fact that not one of the so-called liberal judges in the Ninth Circuit were willing to stand up for sexual privacy - and Lawrence v Texas - when we requested an “en banc” hearing.

So we still have a difficult decision - namely, whether we should appeal to the Supreme Court. If we do appeal, there is a real chance that the Supreme Court would not take the case (it only hears 100 or so cases a year). But if it did take the case, we would certainly incur very significant costs, and there is a real risk that by the time the case is heard, the composition of the Supreme Court may be even more unpredictable. And if the Supreme Court did uphold the Ninth Circuit’s decision - that would effectively lock out any future challenges against similar laws elsewhere in the US. So we have asked for an additional 60 days before we have to file any appeal, so we can continue to assess the viability of our case before the highest court.

In the meantime, we’re looking into filing a constitutional challenge against the same law (CA 647(b)), but this time through the California court system - starting in California Superior Court.

Legislative Call Report: Next Steps.
On May 22nd, we spent the day in Sacramento meeting with legislators. Five of us (from ESPLERP and the US PROStitutes Collective) had very positive meetings with around ten Senate and Assembly Members and/or their staff. We explained the Ninth Circuit ruling laid the responsibility to change the law in the legislators’ laps. And we explained the urgent need to change the law - to decriminalize - now in light of the recent passing of #FOSTA/SESTA law. We also presented them with draft legislation to start the process of modernizing some of the literally Victorian-era laws - thanks to one of our volunteers who happens to also be a very busy law student! We will continue to schedule meetings with legislators - so look for dates in the fall if you want to come along. Sorry we forget to take a picture.

Online Petition
Thanks to all who signed the online petition to let our voice be heard. It’s helping…

California Must Decriminalize Sex Work in Light of FOSTA/SESTA
A 2018 federal court decision in ESPLERP v GASCON [16-15927], the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said it was the California state legislators responsibility to repeal bad laws like PC 647(b), the anti-prostitution law.

Its imperative that legislators act now to protect over 1,000,000 sex workers who find ourselves in reduced economic circumstances because of the chilled online speech that resulted from the recently passed federal legislation called #FOSTA (Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act).

Many sex workers find ourselves in desperate situations because of the loss of online spaces where we can exercise our constitutionally protected right to advertise, screen clients, and share safety information. Some have returned to or have resorted to more dangerous work conditions, such as street-based work, where we have little or no means to protect ourselves from violence or screen clients.

Bad federal laws like FOSTA are always predicated upon draconian anti-prostitution state laws like California’s 647(b) and “Loitering With Intent to Commit Prostitution" California Penal Code 653.22 PC, otherwise known as the "walking while looking like a prostitute" law. These bad laws not only profile the general public as prostitutes, but also criminalize adult consensual sex workers' right to exist by specifically criminalizing our right to negotiate for our wages and safe work conditions, including screening our clients and vice versa.

There is an immediate need for legislators to repeal these arbitrarily enforced anti-prostitution laws as a matter of public safety.

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