Judge Grants Backpage.com Temporary Restraining Order Against Illinois Sheriff Tom Dart (Dem)

Jul 27, 2015
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A quick update on the Backpage.com lawsuit against Cook County, Illinois, Sheriff Tom Dart, who threatened to target credit-card companies if they didn’t stop doing business with the international web-ad platform. On Friday, U.S. District Judge John J. Tharp, Jr. granted the website’s request for a temporary restraining order against Dart, noting in his decision that Backpage is “in essence, a publisher” and “has established a more-than-negligible likelihood of success on the merits of its claim that Dart’s informal lobbying of the credit card companies violated the First Amendment.”

“Backpage has also made a sufficient showing of irreparable harm,” wrote Tharp of the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division. With it, Backpage’s submitted “numerous exhibits that document longstanding efforts by Dart to force or pressure Backpage.com and Craigslist.com to abandon their ‘adult’ classifieds, through lawsuits, lobbying, and public pressure.” More from Tharp’s decision (provided to me by folks from Paul Hastings, one of the firms representing Backpage):


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