ArentFox Schiff Secures Preliminary Injunction in Iowa Book Banning Case

On December 29, an ArentFox Schiff team of Fred Sperling, Adam Diederich, Kirstie Brenson, and Meera Gorjala obtained a preliminary injunction in federal court in Iowa preventing the enforcement of an Iowa law providing for the removal of books from school and classroom libraries.

The law bans books that contain a description of a sex act without consideration of the value of the book as a whole and includes books that relate to gender identity or sexual orientation. Hundreds of award-winning books had been removed under this law.

The court agreed with our arguments and enjoined the law on the grounds that it is (1) an impermissible content-based restriction in violation of the First Amendment, (2) overbroad in violation of the First Amendment, and (3) void for vagueness in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Our clients include Penguin Random House (the world’s largest trade publisher), four award-winning authors (Laurie Halse Anderson, John Green, Malinda Lo, and Jodi Picoult), the Iowa State Education Association, teachers, a librarian, and a high school student.

More details on the litigation can be found here.

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