Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Federal Judge Blocks Law that Criminalizes Giving Minors Harmful Material

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin said in an email Saturday that his office would 'continue to vigorously defend the law...'

(Headline USA) A federal judge has blocked Arkansas from enforcing its law which charges librarians and booksellers with a crime for giving children harmful material.

U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks issued a preliminary injunction against the law, which also would have created a new process to challenge library materials and request that they be relocated to areas not accessible by kids.

The measure, signed by Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders earlier this year, was set to take effect Aug. 1.

The lawsuit comes as lawmakers in an increasing number of conservative states are pushing for measures making it easier to hold people liable for giving indecent material to children.

Laws restricting children’s access to indecent materials or making it easier to challenge them have been enacted in several other states, including Iowa, Indiana and Texas.

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin said in an email Saturday that his office would be “reviewing the judge’s opinion and will continue to vigorously defend the law.”

The Arkansas lawsuit names the state’s 28 local prosecutors as defendants, along with Crawford County in west Arkansas.

The plaintiffs challenging Arkansas’ restrictions also include the Fayetteville and Eureka Springs Carnegie public libraries, the American Booksellers Association and the Association of American Publishers.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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