Friday, October 9, 2009

The Court Speaks Again

The Wichita Falls Public Library, like all other public libraries, is a limited public forum for purposes of First Amendment analysis. . . . In a limited public forum, the government's ability to restrict patrons' First Amendment rights is extremely narrow. Thus, the City cannot limit access to library materials solely on the basis of the content of those materials, unless the City can demonstrate that the restriction is necessary to achieve a compelling government interest and there are no less restrictive alternatives for achieving that interest.
US District Court in Texas, in Sund v. City of Wichita Falls (121 F.Supp.2d 530), a decision ordering Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy's Roommate back to the children's shelves of the public library. Emphasis added above. That word and linking the two clauses of the last sentence is critical to understanding the legal framework of censorship in public libraries.

2 comments:

  1. Once again, the judicial system in our country has reaffirmed intellectual freedom and the place a public library has in a community. Public libraries are not private bookstores that cater to a particular crowd and literature genre they find comfort in. Dan from SafeLibraries and Ginny from Eagle Forum Washington County will probably read the decision from the bench and try to find every way possible to find a flaw. That tactic is usually reserved for, and used by, those who are holding on to a last string. Thanks for all you've done to shed light on this issue - using a word from Ginny and WISSUP - many "curtsies" to you.

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