WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court won’t hear an appeal from an Illinois sheriff who was ordered to stop threatening credit card companies doing business with classified ad website Backpage.com.
The justices Monday let stand a lower court order that forbids Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart from contacting Visa and MasterCard to disrupt online sex ads linked to human trafficking.
Dart sent “cease and desist” letters last year urging the companies to stop providing payment services for any ads on the website. The companies complied within 48 hours.
Backpage sued, alleging Dart was illegally interfering with its ability to do business. A federal judge sided with Dart, finding his letters were protected by the Constitution’s First Amendment. A federal appeals court reversed that ruling.
Dart’s office says it’s disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision.