Appeals Court Strikes Down Texas Book Ban Over 'B*tt And Fart' Mentions

An appellate court has ruled that Texas cannot ban books from libraries simply because they mention "b*tt and fart" and other content which some state officials may dislike.

What Happened: The fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision on Thursday, The Guardian reported. The 76-page majority opinion, written by Judge Jacques Wiener Jr, emphasized that "government actors may not remove books from a public library with the intent to deprive patrons of access to ideas with which they disagree."

The court’s decision follows a federal lawsuit filed in 2022 by seven Llano County residents against county and library officials. The plaintiffs argued that their constitutional right to "access information and ideas" was violated when 17 books were removed based on their content and messages.

The contested books include titles such as I Broke My B**t! and Larry the F**ting Leprechaun, as well as books on sexuality, gender identity, and the history of racism in the U.S. The court ordered eight of the 17 books to be returned to the library shelves.

Judge Wiener criticized a dissenting opinion from Judge Kyle Duncan, a Donald Trump appointee, who accused the court of becoming the "Library Police." Wiener countered by citing author Stephen King, a free speech advocate, to argue against censorship.

See Also: Trump Vs. Biden: Hush-Money Conviction Signals Good News For One Candidate In Tight Presidential Race

The decision comes amid a broader wave of book-banning attempts in Texas and other states. The American Library Association reported that Texas made the most attempts in the US to ban or restrict books in 2022.

Why It Matters: The ruling is significant in the context of ongoing book bans in Texas. In August 2022, the Keller Independent School District ordered the removal of 41 books, including all versions of the Bible and “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” from libraries and classrooms. This decision sparked widespread debate about censorship and educational freedom.

Former President Barack Obama also weighed in on the issue in July 2023, expressing concern over the increasing number of book bans in schools and libraries across the country. In a social media statement, Obama praised librarians for their efforts to combat these bans and emphasized the importance of access to diverse ideas and perspectives for upholding First Amendment freedoms. He stated that the impulse to ban books is contrary to the principles that have made the nation great.

Read Next: Trump Could Face Life Incarceration If Defeated In 2024 Election, Former Federal Prosecutor Warns: ‘He Has An Appreciable Chance Of Dying In Prison’

Photo by priscilla-du-preez for Unsplash

This story was generated using Benzinga Neuro and edited by Pooja Rajkumari

Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: NewsPoliticsGeneralBook BanPooja Rajkumaritexas
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!