Judge rules against state law targeting Backpage.com

U.S. District Court Judge John Nixon has sided unequivocally with advertising service Backpage.com in its tussle with state legislators who last year targeted websites selling ads they say promote child sex trafficking. In a ruling today, Nixon said the new law violates three sections of the Constitution as well as the 1996 Communications Decency Act.

“The Constitution tells us that — when freedom of speech hangs in the balance — the state may not use a butcher knife on a problem that requires a scalpel to fix,” Nixon wrote in the order. “Yet, this appears to be what the Tennessee legislature has done in passing the law at issue.”