Will Trump Pocket Veto FOSTA?

President-Trump-Official-PortraitBefore I begin, if you are reading this and do not know what FOSTA and/or SESTA are – I suggest that you read an earlier article I authored about it (link below). In short though, FOSTA is currently a bill that was passed by the House and Senate of the United States’ Congress that strips away any CDA section 230 protections from most websites and will allow law enforcement to prosecute anyone owns or operates websites that allow the advertisement of the services of an illegal prostitute or illegal escort. It will also allow for civil lawsuits against such websites as well.

https://adultbizlaw.com/2018/01/09/sex-workers-sesta-and-how-it-will-destroy-an-industry/

Currently, as of the time of the drafting of this article (March 29, 2018 at 3:30 PDT) President Trump as not signed FOSTA into law. Until he does, it remains a bill and not law yet. Eight days has passed since FOSTA was approved by the US Senate on March 21, 2018. Usually a President has 10 days in which to veto a bill before it automatically becomes law. In this case that 10th day would fall on Saturday. So Trump has until Saturday to veto the FOSTA or sign it. The question then becomes – what if he doesnt sign it or veto it ?

If Congress is not in session and a bill is allowed to expire without a President’s signature or expressed veto, it then becomes a “pocket veto.” FOSTA would not become a law and it would have to go through the entire process again of being reintroduced, voted on, passed and then once again presented to the President for signature or veto. Congress is currently not in session, since they are on break for the Passover and Easter holidays and will not return until April 9, 2018. So if Trump pocket vetoes FOSTA, there’s nothing the House or Senate could do immediately. However, there is an argument that they are only in a mid-session break and not out of session. There is some debate constitutionally what constitutes a break and being out of session.

If you would like some more information on vetoes and pocket vetoes, clink this link;

https://www.senate.gov/CRSpubs/090a8d2a-c3f8-4c8a-9e48-e47dc35a11d9.pdf

By the time you read this, Trump may have already signed it into law, but it is still possible that he will allow the bill to expire and use his ability to pocket veto it. If he doesn’t sign or veto it, there is an argument to make the FOSTA is not law.

Just something to consider…

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