A new law in California is coming under scrutiny, with a number of experts saying it would be unlikely to survive a constitutional challenge, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The law is aimed at the movie site IMDb and would require the site to remove information about an actor’s age or date of birth upon request.
The publication reports that six lawyers and law professors cited First Amendment concerns about the law.
“A seventh lawyer and former law professor, an expert in discrimination law, was equivocal but thought on balance that the law, known as AB 1687, would survive a constitutional challenge, while SAG-AFTRA’s general counsel and the bill’s sponsor were confident that the statute could withstand litigation,” THR reports.
But the report adds that the opinion of Floyd Abrams, a prominent First Amendment lawyer, was more typical of those surveyed. In an exclusive interview with THR, Abrams is quoted saying: “The statute seems to me of the most dubious constitutionality. Birth dates are facts. It’s hard to see how the government, consistently with the First Amendment, can bar or punish their disclosure.”
SAG-AFTRA helped push through the law, citing age discrimination concerns. The measure sailed through both houses of the state Legislature and was signed into law Saturday by California Gov. Jerry Brown.
A quick check of IMDb this morning showed the birth dates of actors and actresses still prominently featured on the site, as in the example below.