A federal judge will decide whether or not legislation that is scheduled to take effect next week will be implemented. Judge Timothy L. Brooks will now make a decision regarding a lawsuit over the library obscenity bill, including whether or not to award a preliminary injunction.
Act 372, also referred to as the “library obscenity bill,” was the subject of debate. The Fayetteville Public Library is one of many institutions and library users who believe the act is illegal and are asking the judge to impose a preliminary injunction before it becomes law in a week.
According to the plaintiffs, the statute expands who can label library materials as offensive and has the power to punish those who intentionally give such material to children. According to Bettina Brownstein, a counsel representing some of the plaintiffs, Section One of the Act is overbroad and would permit the segregation of things that are detrimental for youngsters under the age of five up to minors under the age of 17, for whom it would not be harmful.
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That would make it illegal for a library to do it. Do you really want your librarians to be concerned about committing a felony in order to, say, distribute books and other materials to community members? No, Brownstein replied.
Additionally, they object to Section 5 of the Act, claiming that it is unconstitutionally ambiguous and will lead to viewpoint discrimination.
“It would permit prejudice against opinions regarding sexual orientation, race, and other categories. And we believe that Section Five either incorporates that or supports that. Because of this and only this, the First Amendment of the Constitution prohibits viewpoint discrimination, she explained.
Denying the plaintiff’s motion, the defendants, which include the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office, assert that this legislation is designed to shield children from pornographic content. They declined to speak to the media, but Attorney General Tim Griffin promises to keep vehemently defending the law’s constitutionality.
By the end of the week, Judge Brooks intends to render a written decision.