The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit blocked an unconstitutional book rating law from going into effect in Texas and agreed with Haynes and Boone, LLP, which argued the law was both logistically impossible and cost prohibitive.
“This decision is a win for Texas and a win for free speech,” Haynes Boone Media Law Practice Group Chair Laura Prather said. “The book rating system in HB900 is a clearly unconstitutional requirement that would irreparably harm booksellers across the state.”
With increased national attention on censorship across the country, the significant victory earned widespread coverage from news outlets.
See a full list of the coverage below:
KXAS (NBC Dallas) – Court Upholds Decision That Blocks Texas Book Rating Law
KEYE (CBS Austin) - Court Strikes Texas Law Mandating Booksellers to Rate Sexual Content for Schools
KXAN (NBC Austin) - Texas ‘Book Ban’ Law Blocked by 5th Circuit Appeals Court
KHOU (CBS Houston) - Appeals Court Rules Texas Law Establishing Book Rating System is Unconstitutional
Online Web Stories:
"Essentially there are no guardrails in this law," Prather said. "They don't adopt the Miller vs. California guardrails of considering artistic, political, literary, and scientific value, and they don't address considering the work as a whole, which is why it then reaches into classics like 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and others."
Prather…said that the appeals court decision was “a win for Texas and a win for free speech.” “The book rating system in HB900 is a clearly unconstitutional requirement that would irreparably harm booksellers across the state,” she said in email, referring to the House bill number. “We’re thankful the Fifth Circuit recognized it would require booksellers to speak against their will and the importance of blocking it from taking effect.”
"The plaintiffs are thrilled with the outcome of this case and the fact that the court has found that booksellers can’t be compelled to speak against their will," said Laura Prather of Haynes and Boone, a lawyer for the two bookstores and industry groups, including the American Booksellers Association and Association of American Publishers, which brought the lawsuit in July.
KVUE (ABC Austin) - Appeals Court Rules Texas Law Establishing Book Rating System Unconstitutional
Austin American Statesman - Controversial Texas Law Requiring Book Sellers to Rate Books Blocked by Appeals Court
KUT (NPR Austin) – Appeals Court Blocks Texas from Enforcing Book Rating Law
San Antonio News Express - Federal Appeals Court Blocks Texas Ban on 'Sexually Explicit' Books in Public Schools
Texas Tribune - Appeals Court Blocks Texas from Enforcing Book Rating Law
KPRC (NBC Houston) - Appeals Court Blocks Texas from Enforcing Book Rating Law