Dart was found to be violating the First Amendment in that he used his role as a public official to attempt to suppress all advertisements placed on Backpage, at least some of which must have fallen under the category of "free speech".
|shawnzrossi via Foter.com / CC BY|
In the judgement the credit card companies are referred to as "victims". But it seems just as easy to see them as collaborators. In fact an letter stating the official position of Visa asserted that they did not feel threatened by Dart's letter, effectively undermining Backpage's case. (Meanwhile internal staff communications at Visa referred to the letter as "blackmail")
Backpage won nothing more than an injunction against Dart threatening credit card companies. No word yet as to whether either credit card company has resumed doing business with Backpages who is currently giving away heir advertising for free. Backpage has the law on their side, but that is probably not going to save their business.