A Question on SB59

I understand the intent. I disagree with the substance. We’ve talked about this before.

My question is the same I had last year. Doesn’t this legislation violate the interstate commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution by seeking to exert a state restraint that is unduly burdensome on a function that is within the realm of interstate commerce without congressional authority to do so?

And even if not, shouldn’t we be placing the burden on the parents and not on the industry? We don’t sue Anheiser-Busch when a kid pulls a beer out of their parent’s fridge. Why should we sue Facebook or MySpace when a kid registers an account via their parent’s computer?

Being in the “internet business,” I understand the intentions of the law and am largely sympathetic. But I also think the cost-benefit analysis makes this law wholly anti-business and is not really family friendly because I assure you that the parents who would engage their children under this law are already doing so and those that would not engage their children are already not engaging their children and this law won’t change that. In the meantime, you’re escalating costs for international businesses to deal with the good intentions of one group of people in one state in one nation that will not even be taken advantage of by those the law is intended to benefit.

[UPDATE:] As Grift notes in the comments, he’s picked up on the ICC aspect. It’s not cut and dry, but I think it’d tend to be unconstitutional.

9 comments

  1. Bill Simon says:

    Erick,

    Sorry, but once you’ve spent the length of time giving oral worship service to Cecil Staton that YOU’VE devoted, now is not the time to question your Master.

    Accept what he wishes to do and leave it at that.

  2. Chris says:

    Erick,

    This bill isn’t about protecting children. Its about making good press releases for politicians.

    I don’t know if “parental permission” is defined in any other section of the OCGA, but its not defined in this new title.

    A checkbox saying “I’m this minor’s parent or legal guardian and I approve them getting this account” could meet the standard.

    or

    A signed and notarized from could meet the standard.

    As a business, I’m liable to say f— Georgia or f— minors I don’t need the hassle and not accept residents of GA or minors to my site. And that is a lose-lose scenario for everyone.

  3. StevePerkins says:

    Farris is dead-on. Bills like this only pass because the legislators know that the courts will come along afterward and clean it up, and then those legislators can score additional points with the schmucks by railing against those “activist judges”. P.R. city, all day long…

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