Religious Right’s Efforts to Ban Books in Texas Schools Fails in Court, Texas Freedom Network Celebrates Judge’s Order on HB 900

September 19, 2023

CONTACT: Emily Witt (she/hers), [email protected]

AUSTIN, Texas – U.S. District Judge Alan Albright yesterday issued a written order stopping the state from implementing HB 900, which sought to completely ban or restrict materials in public school libraries by creating a vague and undefined rating system with multiple levels of review by several state agencies.

A coalition of book vendors and public bookstores sued the state in July over the legislation, arguing that it was a violation of the First Amendment, overly broad, unenforceable, and placed an undue burden on private businesses to act as enforcers of the state’s law.

Texas Freedom Network Executive Director Val Benavidez (she/her) issued the following response​:

“Judge Albright’s order is a reminder that there are still Texans who refuse to bend to the will of the religious right or discriminate against children in our public schools to serve a radical political agenda. HB 900’s implementation would’ve erased vital stories about LGBTQIA+ Texans — this is not only unlawful, but deeply harmful during a period when hate crimes against the LGBTQIA+ community continue to rise while our leaders stoke hate, fear, and division.

“We trust our neighborhood schools and believe the families in each local district should have a final say about what is best for their child. Any politician who inserts themselves in that process is grossly overstepping. Every legislator who authored, sponsored, or supported this bill should be ashamed for using our children in their political games.”