Tag Archives: censorship

Fifth Circuit partially upholds ruling that ordered library books back on shelves in Llano County

This is a lot. Eight books dealing with subjects including racism and transgender issues must be returned to library shelves in a rural Texas county that had removed them in an ongoing book banning controversy, a divided panel of three … Continue reading

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The HD146 runoff

I’ve avoided writing about this for as long as I could, but it needs to be talked about. That Senate Bill 14 would pass was not in doubt. The legislation, which would bar gender-transitioning care for children and teens, had … Continue reading

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Book ban law stays blocked

Good. Key portions of a law signed last year by Gov. Greg Abbott requiring booksellers to rate books for sexual content when selling to schools will not go into effect after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday declined … Continue reading

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Paxton sues two more adult websites

I’m sure he’s got a list. Two more adult websites are facing lawsuits from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office over accusations they’re not following the state’s age verification law, the latest effort to legally go after internet porn providers. … Continue reading

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The Shawn Thierry situation

The Trib covers one of the more important primaries in Harris County this cycle. That Senate Bill 14 would pass was not in doubt. The legislation, which would bar gender-transitioning care for children and teens, had universal Republican support and … Continue reading

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The Texas Freedom to Read Project

Good stuff. A group of Texas parents has a mission: Let their kids follow their curiosity in school libraries. The Texas Freedom to Read Project launched in December to counter the statewide surge in book challenges and removals in public … Continue reading

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Fifth Circuit upholds injunction in book rating lawsuit

Good news. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday blocked a new Texas law that requires bookstores to rate books for sexual content and prohibits any deemed “sexually explicit” from the state’s public schools. A panel of three judges … Continue reading

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Fifth Circuit slaps down “bad faith” obscenity prosecution

This is fascinating. An appeals court on Monday blocked a Texas district attorney from pursuing child pornography charges against Netflix for showing the French film “Cuties.” In a 3-0 ruling, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court … Continue reading

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Media Matters sues Ken Paxton

Turnabout is fair play. Whether it’s justiciable or not, we’ll see. Media Matters for America sued Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in federal court late Monday, alleging that Paxton violated the First Amendment last month and chilled its work when … Continue reading

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Fifth Circuit has its book rating lawsuit hearing

It looks like it might have…gone well? I am cautiously hopeful. Federal appellate judges Wednesday questioned a new Texas law requiring book sellers to rate the explicitness and relevance of sexual references in materials they sell to schools, though it … Continue reading

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Musk and Paxton versus freedom of speech

First there was this. It didn’t quite happen the moment court was open, as Elon Musk the billionaire owner of X/Twitter had promised, but at the end of Monday, the social media platform did file its “thermonuclear” lawsuit against media … Continue reading

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November 2023 Texas School Board Election Recap

From Franklin Strong: Since Tuesday, headlines across the country have highlighted crushing defeats book-banning school board candidates, often associated with Moms for Liberty, suffered on Election Night. That trend carried over into Texas elections, too— but only to an extent. … Continue reading

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Keep an eye on the Cy-Fair ISD elections

There’s potential for a lot of badness here. Conservative political-action committees and GOP U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz are backing four Cy-Fair ISD trustee candidates in next week’s election for four positions that could sway control of the board in one … Continue reading

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The Book-Loving Texans’ Guide To The November 2023 Election

Make note of this. Please check out and share the newest edition of the Book-Loving Texan’s Guides to Texas School Board Elections. You can use it to inform voters and to decide where to allocate your time and donations for … Continue reading

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Two book ban updates

Bad news. A state law banning “sexually explicit” books from Texas schools will now go into effect, after an appeals court temporarily blocked a lower court ruling. The three-judge panel did not offer any reasoning. Their decision is temporary until … Continue reading

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Harris County libraries are now “book sanctuaries”

It’s great that they’re doing this, and terrible that they have to. As book bans and challenges occur across the state and nation, Harris County libraries have joined a movement dedicated to preserving people’s right to decide for themselves what … Continue reading

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Katy ISD’s book banning

What are these people doing? Katy Independent School District has remained silent on the reasons 14 additional books were removed from shelves and how the district’s book review policy is being implemented, despite a public pledge of transparency on book … Continue reading

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Book ban lawsuit opinion released

It’s a strong one, not that that will mean anything to the troglodyte nihilists at the Fifth Circuit. In temporarily blocking enforcement of a new Texas law that limits books with sexual content in school libraries, a federal judge called … Continue reading

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Book rating law blocked

Good. A federal judge said Thursday he will stop a new Texas law aimed at keeping sexually explicit materials off of school library shelves on the eve of the law going into effect, according to state attorneys and lawyers for … Continue reading

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The bookstores’ view of the book rating lawsuit

Some useful context from one of the plaintiffs in that lawsuit challenging a new “book rating” law. When Valerie Koehler bought Blue Willow Bookshop, she wanted to offer an expansive selection of children’s books. “We made it our mission to … Continue reading

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Federal judge temporarily blocks Arkansas book censorship law

Hopefully a good omen. On Saturday, a federal judge in Arkansas temporarily blocked a new law that would have allowed local prosecutors to file felony charges against school and public librarians who loaned out material considered considered “harmful to minors.” The law—which also … Continue reading

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Booksellers sue over new book rating law

These lawsuits, they are starting to pile up. A coalition of Texas bookstores and national bookseller associations filed suit on Tuesday over House Bill 900, which aims to ban sexually explicit material from school libraries. HB 900 passed in the … Continue reading

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City to sue over mandatory arbitration law

Add it to what is likely to be a substantive list. Houston city attorneys said Monday they plan to challenge the constitutionality of a new Texas law that gives Houston firefighters mandatory arbitration in their long-running contract stalemate. Lowell Denton, … Continue reading

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A long look at Spring Branch ISD

Houston Landing goes deep. With only a week left before the May 6 election, school-board candidate David Lopez and a team of volunteers set out to block walk in the Spring Branch neighborhoods north of Interstate 10, trying to accomplish … Continue reading

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A “who not to vote for” guide in Katy ISD

For your information. The Katy ISD school board race has taken a sharp political turn as some candidates vying for the nonpartisan position accepted Republican party endorsements and appeared on flyers that attacked their opponents as “far left” supporters of … Continue reading

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Spring Branch ISD versus “James and the Giant Peach”

Note: The following is a guest post, written by my friend Diana Martinez Alexander. I occasionally run guest posts, some of which I solicit and some of which are sent to me. Southlake. Garland. Frisco. Now Spring Branch is pushing … Continue reading

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A brief but dismal legislative update

Just a few recent news stories, to give you an idea of what’s happening in the Legislative session, and why I have been avoiding it. Item 1: Republican Texas senators on Monday reversed themselves and voted against allowing transgender kids currently being treated with puberty … Continue reading

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Llano County ordered to return books to library shelves

Yes, this is a thing that is happening in the year of our Lord 2023. Officials in Llano County must return to the public library system books they removed and allow them to be checked out again, a federal judge ruled this week. … Continue reading

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The upcoming week in legislative gay-bashing

From the inbox, from Equality Texas: Monday, 3/27 Action Alerts & Upcoming Hearings HB 1686, the companion bill to SB 14, would ban trans youth from access to health care. We cannot let this pass. The hearing for HB 1686 begins … Continue reading

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The Book-Loving Texan’s Guide to the May 2023 School Board Elections

Very much of interest. Introduction Basic Background: The Way to Win This is the third cycle I’ve made this document, and I bring you good news: it is very possible to avoid a pro-censorship school board takeover, even in deep … Continue reading

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The forced-birth zealots target the Internet

I hate to be an alarmist, but we live in a time and a place where stuff like this has to be taken seriously. A proposed state law in Texas would force Internet service providers to block websites containing information … Continue reading

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What does Florida have against bloggers?

These are the questions we must ask ourselves these days. Florida Sen. Jason Brodeur (R-Lake Mary) wants bloggers who write about Gov. Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody, and other members of the Florida executive cabinet or legislature to register … Continue reading

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Spring Branch ISD to discuss a book ban today

I don’t post stuff like this often – it’s not really my remit, and timeliness usually works against me – but this one really annoyed me, so here it is. Via Facebook: PLEASE CONSIDER SPEAKING ON TUESDAY @ 1PM! (If … Continue reading

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Department of Education investigating removal of LGBTQ books from Texas school library

Good. The U.S. Education Department’s civil rights enforcement arm has launched an investigation into a North Texas school district whose superintendent was secretly recorded ordering librarians to remove LGBTQ-themed library books. Education and legal experts say the federal probe of … Continue reading

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