Victory in Texas: Appeals Court Upholds Book Ratings Injunction

After our defeat of the court petition that sought to prohibit the sale and distribution of Gender Queer in that state, the attorney for the other side announced that the next step would be to impose a mandatory graphic novel ratings system. That proposal did not pass in Virginia, but Texas picked up the censorship mantle and enacted the READER Act, also known as HB 900, which imposes a ratings requirement on publishers, distributors, retailers, and other vendors of books sold to schools.

Texas legislators made it clear that graphic novels were the primary inspiration for this law, so the CBLDF joined state bookstores and several other organizations in a court challenge to the READER Act. The district court granted our request for a temporary injunction, but the state appealed.

Today, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued its ruling, and we won: the Texas Education Agency is prohibited from enforcing the vendor ratings requirement!