5th Circuit upholds stay on HB 900 book ban

dfwnewsa | January 18, 2024 | 0 | Dallas News

5th Circuit upholds stay on HB 900 book ban

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, known as one of the most conservative appellate courts in the country, today (Wednesday, Jan. 17) issued its ruling that continues to block the Texas Education Agency from enforcing a Texas state law requiring booksellers to rate the explicitness and the relevance of sexual references contained in materials they sell to schools.

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The 5th Circuit ruling upholds a district court’s injunction — in a lawsuit filed by booksellers challenging the law — prohibiting Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath from enforcing the law, according to reports by The Texas Tribune.

The Texas Legislature had passed HB 900 — which according to a Texas Freedom Network statement had “sought to completely ban or restrict materials in public school libraries by creating a vague and undefined rating system” — last spring, and Gov. Greg Abbott signed it into law on June 13. Booksellers filed suit, and  U.S. District Judge Alan Albright blocked implementation of the law, which first took effect on Sept. 1, in a ruling issued Sept. 18. Albright said HB 900 would “impose a web of unconstitutionally vague requirements” on booksellers and publishers in Texas.

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In November, acting on an emergency motion by the state to put Albright’s injunction on hold until the appeals court could hear the case, a 5th Circuit panel of judges issued an administrative stay of Albright’s injunction. That stay was not based on the merits of Albright’s ruling but was instead intended to give the full court time to hear the state’s motion.

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Responding today to the 5th Circuit Court’s ruling, Texas Freedom Network Organizing Director Seneca Savoie said, “The courts should exist to protect and defend the rights of everyone in our communities, including our children. We applaud the 5th Circuit for upholding Judge Albright’s initial ruling, rather than aiding our state’s leaders in their endless culture wars and attacks on LGBTQIA+ Texans and our basic freedoms.

“Our kids deserve the freedom to read, and their local schools and libraries are no place for censorious adults to push their religious and political agendas,” Savoie continued. “While we were deeply disheartened that the 5th Circuit previously allowed this unconstitutional law to go into effect knowing that it violates the rights of Texas kids and their families, justice has finally been served.”

— Tammye Nash

The post 5th Circuit upholds stay on HB 900 book ban appeared first on Dallas Voice.


5th Circuit upholds stay on HB 900 book ban was first posted on January 17, 2024 at 4:18 pm.
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