A Federal judge has blocked Arkansas's new law that makes it a crime for a librarian or a bookstore worker to allow children to read vaguely-defined "harmful material." The law, which would have made any title open to challenges which would require libraries and bookstores to place them among adults-only materials, was signed by Gov. Sarah Huckabee-Sanders earlier this year.
"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," Holly Dickson, the executive director of the ACLU in Arkansas, said in a statement.
The lawsuit comes as lawmakers in an increasing number of conservative states are pushing for measures making it easier to ban or restrict access to books. The number of attempts to ban or restrict books across the U.S. last year was the highest in the 20 years the American Library Association has been tracking such efforts.
The hate for librarians is something to watch out for. First, it's a safe proxy for all the other hates that are risky to articulate or legislate. Second, it's funded by local governments. Third, it's mostly highly-educated women. When right-wingers play boxcar bingo in their heads, librarians are right up there with the headline picks.