LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A federal court has issued a preliminary injunction on Saturday that blocks an Arkansas law.
A federal judge has blocked Arkansas’ new book censorship law from taking effect, according to court documents from the Western District of Arkansas.
United States District Judge Timothy Brooks granted a preliminary injunction after oral arguments took place earlier this week.
The law was scheduled to take effect on Tuesday.
This ruling means Act 372 will not go into effect as originally planned.
Act 372 would have banned libraries from distributing materials that have been deemed “obscene” to kids.
The law is not struck down completely by the judge’s ruling, but it does mean it will not go into effect until lawmakers determine its constitutionality.
The Fayetteville Public Library was one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, along with the Central Arkansas Library System, and the Eureka Springs Carnegie Library.
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.”
ACLU of Arkansas Executive Director Holly Dickson responded to the lawsuit commending the court’s decision.
“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.”