The Book Catapult

Porn-egon, Part 2

This is a quick update on a bit I wrote about way back in April 2008 – “It’s Raining Porn in Oregon” – about the law that had passed in that state restricting the display and sale of “sexually explicit” material, especially to children under the age of 13.  Under the infuriatingly vague Oregon law H.B. 2843, if a bookstore has a faceout display of, say, A Handmaid’s Tale where those tiny hands can reach or where their barely developed eyeballs can see, then the bookseller is in violation of the law and could be subject to a year in the clink and a $6300 fine.  Michael Powell, owner of Powell’s Books, pointed out that the law “says a 13-year-old can legally buy these books, but it’s a crime to sell them to a 12-year-old. How do I card a 12-year-old?”  Hmmm.

Good news, though!  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the Oregon law on Monday, declaring it unconstitutional!  All is right in the world again – or at least a little bit.  In this second round of appeals, the state had been arguing that the intent of the law was to target “hardcore pornography,” but the court decided that the law made no such allowances and did actually cover such relatively innocuous titles as The Joy of Sex and Lady Chatterley’s Lover.  Which is ridiculous and unconstitutional.

You can read more about the case in ABA’s Bookselling This Week, and, of course, my old post.

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One comment on “Porn-egon, Part 2

  1. Amy
    September 22, 2010

    Wow. I somehow missed hearing about that law so thank you for posting about it. How ridiculous!!!! Looking at your old post, I am most shocked by how long it has apparently been in effect. Wow. Just, wow.

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This entry was posted on September 22, 2010 by in censorship, fascists.
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