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Indiana law dismissed

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Joined: 21 Mar 2007
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Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:43 am    Post subject: Indiana law dismissed Reply with quote

From PW online today.

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression took a victory yesterday when a federal judge dismissed an Indiana law requiring retailers to register "sexually explicit" material with the state. The law, H.B. 1042, was put on the books in March and, shortly thereafter, ABFFE joined the Media Coalition's legal fight to remove the law from the books.

Judge Sarah Evans Baker (who also struck down, in 1984, an anti-pornography law) said in her ruling that the law has too vast a reach "as written." She elaborated: A romance novel sold at a drugstore, a magazine offering sex advice in a grocery store checkout line, an R-rated DVD sold by a video rental shop, a collection of old Playboy magazines sold by a widow at a garage sale--all incidents of unquestionably lawful, non-obscene, non-pornographic material being sold to adults--would appear to necessitate registration under the statute. Ultimately, Judge Baker said that "such a vague mandate will be unduly burdensome" and "will have a chilling effect on expression."

This decision, which ABFFE president Chris Finan called "a resounding victory for the First Amendment rights of booksellers and their customers," comes just days after a judge in Oregon denied ABFFE's request for a preliminary injunction to block a less stringent law there, dubbed a "harmful to minors" law.

The state of Indiana now has 30 days to appeal Judge Baker's decision.

Laurie Gold
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