Texas County Looks to Shut Down Library After Judge Orders to Reinstate Banned Books

A Llano County, Texas judge has called for a special meeting to discuss whether to continue or cease the operations of the county’s library system just two weeks after a federal judge ordered the library to return the books they had removed from the system.

The special meeting, scheduled for Thursday, April 13, was called by county judge Ron Cunningham. Included in the discussion items for this topic are the continued employment and/or status of the library system’s employees, and the “feasibility of the use of the library premises by the public.”

The county’s library system officials were ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pitman to return the banned books and allow them to be checked out again after he found that the plaintiffs “clearly met their burden to show that these are content-based restrictions that are unlikely to pass constitutional muster.”

The plaintiffs were seven residents who sued the county judge, commissioners court, library board members, and library system for restricting and banning books, arguing that the defendants’ actions infringed on their First Amendment rights to access and receive ideas. They also alleged because the books were removed from the system without notice or the ability to appeal, their 14th Amendment right to due process was violated.

The state’s politicians, along with some parents, have been calling to restrict books that they deem inappropriate. But literacy advocates have pointed out that the most of the books targeted are about sexuality, particularly LGBTQ+, and race.

The Texas Tribune reported that included in the list of the restricted books were “a book for teens that calls the Ku Klux Klan a terrorist group, Isabel Wilkerson’s ‘Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents,’ and a comedic children’s book with three stories from Dawn McMillan’s ‘I Need a New Butt!’ series.”

Information for this briefing was found via Texas Tribune, Sawyer Hackett on Twitter, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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