A federal appeals court has overturned major portions of two Oregon laws written in 2007 to prohibit the furnishing of sexually explicit images and descriptions to children under 13.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said the laws were overly broad and could apply to standard sex education literature or even some adolescent fiction by popular authors like Judy Blume.
Booksellers and groups such as Planned Parenthood, the Association of American Publishers, and the American Civil Liberties Union had challenged the laws, which were initially upheld by a federal judge. Michael Powell of Powell’s Books, the lead plaintiff, called last week’s appellate ruling a “victory for booksellers who do not want to ask 13-year-olds for identification or risk going to jail for selling a Judy Blume book.”
Spokesman Tony Green of the state attorney general’s office said after the ruling that no decision had been made on an appeal.
A version of this article appeared in the September 29, 2010 edition of Education Week as Court Rejects Oregon Curbs on Access to Sexual Content