A judge ordered officials of a Texas county to replace books that had been removed from libraries over controversial content related to transgender and racial issues.
The lawsuit against Llano County was filed in April by seven Llano County residents who opposed the removal of the books.
Among the 12 books removed were “Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen" by Jazz Jennings and “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson.
The lawsuit claims that the actions by county officials constituted a violation of their First and 14th Amendment rights.
U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman ordered officials to return the books to libraries and online in digital format.
“Although libraries are afforded great discretion for their selection and acquisition decisions, the First Amendment prohibits the removal of books from libraries based on either viewpoint or content discrimination,” Pitman said.
Attorneys for the county officials argued that the removal of the books were a part of regularly scheduled "weeding" of books, but the judge rejected that rationale based on demands from many in the public to excise the books.
An attorney for the plaintiffs called the ruling a "ringing victory" for democracy.
“The government cannot tell citizens what they can or can’t read. Our nation was founded on the free exchange of ideas, and banning books you disagree with is a direct attack on our most basic liberties," said Ellen Leonida.
Pittman was appointed to be the United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas by former President Barack Obama in 2014.
He made headlines in 2021 when he temporarily blocked restrictions on abortion in Texas after calling the procedure "a significant and well-established constitutional right."
Here's more about the court order in Texas:
Llano County ordered to return removed books to its library system by federal courtwww.youtube.com
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