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NetChoice Asks District Court to Halt Law Harming Families & Free Speech Online

SAN JOSE, Calif.—NetChoice asked a federal court in California to halt enforcement of California’s Assembly Bill 2273, the “Age-Appropriate Design Code Act,” while our lawsuit, NetChoice v. Bonta, is pending. 

We filed a request for a preliminary injunction in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California to reduce the severe costs businesses will face while trying to come into compliance with this burdensome law, until legal proceedings on whether the law itself is constitutional have concluded. 

“Like Texas and Florida’s laws, California’s attempt to control online speech—AB 2273—violates the First Amendment,” said NetChoice Counsel Chris Marchese. “If allowed to take effect, the law will chill free speech online. Adults and teens alike will see their right to express themselves and access information curtailed, and will limit or end anonymous online speech—a vital protection for journalists and vulnerable people.”

“Though marketed as a way to protect minors, AB 2273 forces online services to collect sensitive, personal data of website visitors of all ages every time they visit a website. This type of government-mandated data collection puts everyone—but especially minors—at significant risk.”

Marchese continued: “To protect free speech online, we ask the Court to block this unconstitutional law from going into effect.”

As NetChoice v. Bonta explains, California’s AB 2273 violates the First Amendment by:

  1. Compelling and chilling speech; 
  2. Infringing editorial rights; 
  3. Limiting adults’ access to constitutional speech, and; 
  4. Relying on undefined terms to grant California unchecked power to coerce moderation decisions the government prefers.

Our lawsuit also notes that AB 2273 is preempted by a federal law, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA), and violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. 

You can find our filing here and a web page detailing our resources for NetChoice v. Bonta here. For inquiries, please contact Robert Winterton at