Earlier today Backpage was granted a temporary restraining order against Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. Dart was the man behind the campaign to get the major credit card companies to stop processing payments to Backpage because of their ‘alleged’ involvement with human trafficking and child prostitution. The 10 day order basically bars Sheriff Dart or any other employee of the Sheriff’s office from petitioning any more credit card companies or any other financial institution to stop doing business with Backpage. This comes on the heels of the lawsuit Backpage recently filed against Dart, accusing him of violating Backpage’s first amendment rights.
I believe that Backpage is arguing that since Sheriff Dart used official county letterhead that this can be seen as censorship. Let’s see what other lovely things Backpage had to say…
On Thursday, Backpage.com lawyer Robert Corn-Revere told Tharp, “Let’s not confuse escort ads with prostitution ads.”
That’s like saying let’s not confuse an assassin with a hitman. Escort ads are just barely veiled ads for prostitution.
Lawyers for Backpage.com are calling the judge’s order “an important reaffirmation of the critical role of the Internet in free speech and the continued evolution of e-commerce.”
I didn’t know that being ‘allegedly’ complicit in the sexual slavery of women and children was the ‘evolution of e-commerce’.
As far as I can tell what the restraining order doesn’t do is force the credit card companies to start accepting Backpage payments again. Isn’t it their constitutional right to choose whomever they see fit to do business with? Also, as I’ve asked before, why does Backpage’s first amendment rights trump the thirteenth amendment rights of the people being trafficked on their website?
I still think we’re seeing the death throes of Backpage however I wouldn’t be surprised if the company survived this like the cockroaches they are.
The restraining order is posted behind the cut.