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Federal judge issues an injunction to block a new library law in Arkansas



Little Rock, Arkansas – On Saturday, a federal court issued a preliminary injunction that invalidates an Arkansas legislation.

According to court records from the Western District of Arkansas, a federal judge has prevented the implementation of the new book censorship statute in Arkansas.

Following oral arguments this week, United States District Judge Timothy Brooks issued a preliminary injunction.

On Tuesday, the law was supposed to go into force.

Act 372 will not take effect as originally intended as a result of this decision.

Act 372 would have made it illegal for libraries to lend out books that have been labeled “obscene” to children.

The judge’s decision does not totally annul the law, but it does mean that it will not take effect until lawmakers decide whether it is constitutional.

Along with the Central Arkansas Library System and the Eureka Springs Carnegie Library, the Fayetteville Public Library was one of the plaintiffs in the action.

From Judge Timothy Brooks’ ruling:

“The balance of the equities and public interest here decidedly favor Plaintiffs, given the likelihood of the infringement of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Defendants will suffer no harm if the preliminary injunction is granted.”

Executive Director of the ACLU of Arkansas Holly Dickson replied to the lawsuit by applauding the judge’s ruling.

“We commend the court’s decision to stop the enforcement of Sections 3 and 5 of Act 372, which would have jeopardized the essential First Amendment rights of all residents of Arkansas,” Dickson said. “It’s regrettable that we even have to question whether our constitutional rights are still respected today. The question we had to ask was — do Arkansans still legally have access to reading materials? Luckily, the judicial system has once again defended our highly valued liberties. We are committed to maintaining the fight to safeguard everyone’s right to access information and ideas.”


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