Department of Justice

How Voting for Mitt Romney Led to Obama's Justice Dept. Cracking Down on Porn Stars (Joke)


Excellent Instapundit column in USA Today about "Operation Chokepoint," a Department of Justice initiative that seeks to squeeze undesirables via their bank accounts. Writes Glenn Reynolds: 

They told me if I voted for Mitt Romney, our moralistic Department of Justice would be trying to shut down porn stars. And they were right: I voted for Romney, and sure enough, the Department of Justice is trying to shut down porn stars. Along with a lot of other, perfectly legal businesses. But I'll bet if Romney were in the White House, there'd be more coverage in the press.

A while back, some adult performers noticed that banks were terminating their accounts. The reason, it turned out, was a Justice Department program called "Operation Choke Point." This program, apparently, seeks to target businesses regarded as undesirable — like porn — by hitting them at a financial "choke point": their bank accounts.

Though the Justice Department can't prosecute people for making porn, because theFirst Amendment prohibits that, and too many people would think of them as blue-nosed morality police, which is politically undesirable, it can use its power to put them out of business extra-legally, by pressuring banks to cut off their accounts. Prosecutors and regulators have a lot of discretion, and the threat to use (or abuse) that discretion in ways that make banks uncomfortable provides a lot of leverage. Sure, banks make money off of the accounts of porn performers (and other targeted businesses), but not enough to make up for the hassle of being targeted for harassment by the feds.

More here.

Back in April, Reason's Elizabeth Nolan Brown was among the first to take notice of Operation Chokepoint, whose reach extends beyond porn folks.

Attorney General Eric Holder sure has a lot of explaining to do about his time in office.

NEXT: Brendan O'Neill on Elliot Rodger and Therapy Culture

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Commerce clause, bitches!

  2. Same thing is happening to gun manufacturers. They are being shut-off from banking services. This Administration has a real nasty aversion to free commerce.…..from-feds/

    1. This Administration is has a real nasty aversion to free commerce.


      In a sane world, Obama would be the bandleader of the new anarchist society.

      1. In a sane world, Obama (and Bush) would be rotting in a federal prison for multiple legal and constitutional violations.

        1. I was thinking lampposts, but either way.

  3. Political avarice is the price we pay for civilization.

  4. “Operation Choke Gag Point” seeks to target businesses regarded as undesirable ? like porn ? by hitting them at a financial “choke point”: their bank accounts.


  5. “Nice little business youse gots heah. It’d be a damn shame if sumpthin wuz ta happens to it.”

  6. BTW, Operation Chokepoint is getting little traction outside of the rational world, at least as far as I can see. I tried to point this out on a tech site that was complaining about the Big, Bad Payment Merchant that was being a big, fat meanie to the porn stars and cutting them off.

    Crickets. It’s all the fault of BOOOOOOOOOSH! and rethuglicans.

    1. Yeah, I’ve tried it twice, with links to the Vice article. No interest.

      I thought maybe using a nice alt-left source like Vice would help. Nope.

  7. First they came for the porn stars……………………. oh hell, never mind.

  8. Attorney General Eric Holder sure has a lot of explaining to do about his time in office.


    Hell, that’s not even ‘a lot’ for a bumper sticker.

  9. Bitcoin fixes this problem. Just sayin’

    1. Not really.

      A bitcoin like system might someday be able to solve this however the bitcoin of today is far more useful as a medium of exchange than as a store of value because of it’s volatility. So sure the performers could try to use bitcoins to pay bills (if their creditors are willing to accept them) but parking multiple thousands of dollars in bitcoins for future use is not such a good idea.

  10. It’s been a few hours since this article was published and I have yet to see a single “two by two, hands of blue” Firefly reference. I thought you guys were cool…

    *hangs head in sadness*

    1. I guess I just don’t see the connection. Maybe you have to have vooted for Romney to understand it.

      1. Because he’s putting on blue nitrile gloves in the picture. Probably so he can handle his binders full of women.

        1. OK, color me blue with envy for those who know how to use their eyes.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.